24-hour ser­vice avail­able for those strug­gling

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY CARO­LINE WIL­SON

FAM­I­LIES af­fected by de­men­tia are be­ing re­minded about a free, 24-hour ser­vice that of­fers ded­i­cated sup­port.

Alzheimer Scot­land launched a helpline in 1989 and since then has pro­vided up to two mil­lion min­utes of help. The ser­vice is op­er­ated by a team of 55 ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, many of whom have per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of car­ing for peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia.

Mar­garet San­der­son, from Blantyre, South La­nark­shire, says the helpline was in­valu­able when her mother was di­ag­nosed with vas­cu­lar de­men­tia and Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

She said: “I al­ready had some ex­pe­ri­ence of the helpline be­fore putting my­self for­ward to be­come a volunteer to help sup­port fam­i­lies liv­ing with de­men­tia. “Mum was di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s and vas­cu­lar de­men­tia and be­ing the sole carer at the time, I of­ten had many sleep­less nights of worry usu­ally around care.

Ul­ti­mately the calls to the helpline helped me to make some changes to help ease the worry of our fam­ily sit­u­a­tion at the time.

“As a volunteer and be­ing there at the end of the line to lis­ten to call­ers who sim­ply need to off­load when they’ve maybe had nowhere else to turn to, is so re­ward­ing. Hav­ing lived through many of the ex­pe­ri­ences, I can pro­vide un­der­stand­ing that call­ers

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