With the generous £950,000 funding received to date, players of People’s Postcode Lottery enable us to provide supported dementia holidays, dementia training and research. Pivotal to these services is thinking differently about the condition, focusing on the individual and what is possible.
In the UK there are 850,000 people living with some form of dementia. With an ageing population, those numbers are set to rise to 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051. Whilst we wait in hope for a cure, there is much that can be done right now to enable people living with dementia to live healthier, more active and meaningful lives and bring emotional, social and physical benefits to dementia affected families.
Often traditional respite involves separating the person with dementia from the family carer, such as their husband or wife, which can be stressful for both parties. Our alternative holiday model provides families with trained dementia supporters—so the carer also gets the chance to enjoy the holiday with their loved one. This year we will deliver 33 holidays providing 252 holiday places. These holidays continue to have a positive effect on the overall well-being of both the person with dementia and their carer for a considerable time after it has ended, giving people hope, renewed energy and the confidence to live better with dementia.
We provide training to a wide range of organisations such as care homes, local authorities, charities and green-space organisations, so they can offer better support, services and choices to people affected by dementia. With 2,837 individuals trained in 2017, 97% of training delegates said they had a better understanding of communicating with people with dementia and 96% of attendees have a more positive understanding of the condition.
As an evidence-led charity, research underpins all the work we do and is another route to bring about positive change to people with dementia and the people who care about them. Their participation in research shows that access to outside space and moderate exercise can significantly improve emotional and physical health such as memory, attention, appetite, sense of well-being and even slowing the progression of dementia and other related diseases.
“… after having not attempted a holiday for the past 14 years, he (Tim) has come back already planning his next trip with you and we have talked about some of the changes we all need to make, to make sure that dementia does not rule June and Tim’s life any more now they are at home.”
Julie Taylor (Granddaughter)