I realise the spread of coronavirus is a difficult and worrying time for everyone. Alzheimer Scotland’s priority is ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of the people we support, and our staff and volunteers. I want to update you on the measures we are taking and explain the impact this may have on some of our support and services.

The first point I would like to share with you is that we are following all the current advice and information from Health Protection Scotland and the UK and Scottish Governments. All of our staff and volunteers are diligently ensuring the highest levels of hand and respiratory hygiene. We have increased our cleaning regimes in all our local Dementia Resource Centres and local services and, in addition to this, each member of our staff will closely monitor their temperature every day. Our staff and volunteers will not come into work if they show any signs of fever, or indeed any other symptoms, and will stay off until they fully recover.

This is an ever-changing landscape, and our charity is having to adapt quickly. Over the next few days, we will be working with our local and national partners to determine which community-based services we can safely continue to provide. This will include day services and community group activities and unfortunately many of these groups will need to be cancelled. However, I hope you understand we only make these decisions to protect the people we support based on national advice. If any of our services do need to change, we will inform the people who attend them as soon as possible and explain what alternative support will be provided. We know how vital our support is to people with dementia, their carers and families and we are committed to ensuring that, whilst the support on offer may change, we are there for you when you need us.

It is critical that we make sure that nobody living with dementia and their families are on their own during this time and we intend to use our 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline as a key contact point. We are in the process of increasing capacity for this vital element of our support. We would encourage you to use the Helpline for support and information, and if you or a family member need help with things such as shopping or collecting medication. Many communities are developing local responses to offer support and help; we will be linking in with these developments and through our local staff and volunteer network we will do our very best to help you. The 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline number is 0808 808 3000.

It is Alzheimer Scotland’s absolute priority to make sure we are there for you during this time. How we do this may change and we will keep you fully informed of this as we go through the next few weeks and months. I do hope that this is of some reassurance to you and if there is anything else you think we could do, or if you would like to discuss things further, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Henry Simmons,

Chief Executive

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus and its symptoms, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/