I hope this update finds you and your loved ones safe and well. It is over four months since the coronavirus pandemic impacted on Alzheimer Scotland and the people who rely on our support. I know through speaking to our local teams just how difficult this period has been for so many people, with lack of access to many of the usual coping mechanisms. Whilst I am immensely proud of how Alzheimer Scotland have adapted our support and services, we have all been waiting patiently for the day that face-to-face support would be an option.
We are now beginning to see glimpses of ‘normality’. Shops, cafes and restaurants have re-opened, the shielding rules have been paused and social distancing & face-coverings have become a regular part of our routine. We welcome the recent update from the Scottish Government confirming all registered adult day centre services that wish to re-open can do so, subject to the necessary approaches. I have outlined our plans for recommencing some of our own local support and activity below:
In the next few weeks we hope to re-open our registered day services. Whilst we don’t anticipate that we will be able to run our day services with the same numbers as we had prior to coronavirus, we will work with our local commissioners to agree a safe number in line with the detailed practice and policies we have developed.
We believe that outdoor activities with a small number of participants, such as gardening and allotment groups, could take place using public health guidance and we have asked our local teams to start planning for this. This will be a gradual process and we will cautiously upscale the groups when we know it is safe to do so. These groups will be aimed at people who would normally access our previous community activity groups and Dementia Cafes independently.
In our Dementia Resource Centres which do not have registered day services, we are planning to deliver safe indoor activities, again for smaller groups of people, and the local teams are in the process of scoping these out too.
I am very pleased to be at the stage where we able to consider re-opening our face-to-face support. However, we must understand that the virus is still out there and at the forefront of our plans is safety. We must do all that we can to keep you, our staff, volunteers and the public safe. Things will start slowly and on a small scale, however with the support and agreement of all the relevant Local Authorities, National Government and Public Health guidance we will build on this soon.
I would like to thank you all for your ongoing understanding of this and we will keep you as up to date as possible on local developments. In the meantime please stay safe and if you need any support from Alzheimer Scotland please do not hesitate to call our 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000.