As we have recently marked World Alzheimer’s Day, I’d like to take a moment to tell your readers about the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia, not only for those living with the condition, but those caring for them too.
I work for Vitalise, an amazing charity that provides essential respite breaks for people with disabilities and their carers, including those coping with Alzheimer’s and dementia. We understand how coping with dementia can leave those affected feeling as if their lives have been turned upside down. This is why we created our special Alzheimer’s Weeks. These unique weeks allow couples coping with Alzheimer’s and dementia to leave the stresses of everyday life behind, giving them the chance to reconnect and share special moments once more.
But it is a sobering thought that as your readers are reading this, there are carers up and down the UK in desperate need of a break, but simply too afraid to let go of their loved one, even for a few days.
Our own research found that as many as four out of 10 carers have not had a single day off from caring in the past year and as a result, six out of 10 said a lack of respite led them to feelings of depression. This has to change.
So, as we mark World Alzheimer’s Day, I’d like to ask your readers to join us in our call for more support for families coping with Alzheimer’s and dementia.For more visit www.vitalise.org.uk or call 0303 303 0147.
- Stephanie Stone, Vitalise