FITMAS cheer continues to spread across Scotland raising funds for people living with dementia
People up and down the country of all ages are keeping fit and festive this year with Alzheimer Scotland’s 12 Days of FITMAS virtual campaign. Lesley McGhie from Fife is one participant taking part.
Long term supporter Lesley has taken part in her local Memory Walk for a number of years and supported charity bucket collections before joining TeamAlzScot once again to complete the brand-new challenge.
Lesley’s desire to support Alzheimer Scotland comes from her late mother and father, Jessie and Frank, who both lived with dementia. Lesley tells us about her parents,
“When my Mother was finally taken into a care home I was devastated as I felt I had let her down by not being able to care for her at home anymore. But in hindsight it was a blessing as she was very happy there and the staff were amazing with her and me, offering lots of advice & emotional support. I was involved with her care and would help with supporting her at mealtimes.Eventually she was unable to recognise me, see me or really hear me and slept a lot. On February 8th she peacefully passed away with family around her. My Dad sadly passed away the year before in the care unit at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy and the staff were amazing”.
Like many carers and families, Lesley struggled with her mental health and further strain was added due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lesley explains,
“I must admit it all was too much for me even though I thought I was ok. It all hit me in September when I just fell to pieces”.
As a former fitness instructor for almost 20 years, Lesley has found taking up exercise again is having a positive effect on her mental health. She told us that the charity challenge has given her the motivation and incentive she needs to see the virtual event through to the end. Lesley also tells us “sharing my story and writing this down is very therapeutic, although emotional too.”
The impact of coronavirus on the dementia community this year has been devastating. With physical doors shut, dedicated teams across Scotland have adapted and reimagined services, accelerating Alzheimer Scotland’s digital innovations to give people as much needed stability and support.
More than ever, it’s vital that people feel connected, informed and part of a community as we continue to face this crisis together. Which is why we are building the UK’s first Virtual Dementia Resource Centre. This exciting digital innovation will help us reach people who need our support when we can’t be there in person. Much needed support such as our Virtual Dementia Resource Centre cannot happen without funds raised by our supporters.
12 Days of FITMAS continues throughout December. To find out more and to sign up, visit our FITMAS homepage here.