I am a mother, a wife, a grandmother and a friend. I am also a carer for my husband Ian and I am writing to you to share our story in the hope that it may inspire you to donate, and help Alzheimer Scotland build the foundations for their new Virtual Resource Centre.
Dementia can be so lonely - whether you have the condition, or are a family member or carer. When Ian received his official diagnosis in 2017, Alzheimer Scotland became a lifeline for us. Ian and I regularly visited the Dundee Dementia Resource Centre as it was a chance for him to socialise and meet others in a safe and comfortable environment, but also somewhere that I could speak to people who really understood my situation.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on Ian and I – lockdown was extremely stressful. We’ve had the continued support of our Dementia Advisor, Wendy, which is second to none - I can’t say enough good things about her. However we have no immediate family nearby and, without being able to attend the Dementia Resource Centre, paired with a lack of stimulation and routine, Ian’s dementia has notably worsened over the past few months.
We’ve been very lucky that Alzheimer Scotland adapted quickly to the pandemic and set up online groups and activities. We’ve been attending an online music and memory class which Ian thoroughly enjoys. He played the mandolin and guitar for many years, and music gets through to him in a way that language sometimes can’t. Whilst we have missed the comfort that walking through the doors of a physical Centre brings, we have benefitted immeasurably from accessing online support at home.
This is why I’m asking for your help. Alzheimer Scotland are building the UK’s first Virtual Resource Centre, which will be available at any time of day or night. It means we will be able to access support from the comfort of our home. With Ian not able to visit the physical Dementia Resource Centre due to the progression of his illness, this virtual centre will absolutely have a positive impact on his wellbeing. It will be a real lifeline for the both of us.
This Christmas it would mean the world to myself, Ian and Alzheimer Scotland if you could buy a brick to help them build the foundations of the Virtual Resource Centre. Please give our family, and thousands more like us, the gift of knowing Alzheimer Scotland will continue to be here for us when we need them the most.