The Alzheimer’s Society is launching a new service in Hammersmith and Fulham for people with Dementia called Side By Side. Side By Side seeks to reduce the loneliness and isolation that people with Dementia can often face as a result of their diagnosis with the help of volunteers who ‘befriend’ a person with Dementia and enable them to actively participate in their local community.
Side by Side is an Alzheimer’s Society service which helps people with dementia to keep doing the things they love with the support of a volunteer.
Our free one-to-one support makes it easier for people with dementia, who might sometimes feel isolated or find it difficult to leave their homes, remain active and feel part of their local community.
By doing things like going for a walk, to a football match, or joining a local class together, our volunteers can support people with dementia to take up hobbies and get out and about. Or, they might simply visit them at home for a cup of tea and a chat. What they do together is entirely based on what the person with dementia wants.
How does Side by Side work?
- Side by Side connects people living with dementia with local volunteers who provide free one-to-one support, in person, or over the phone.
- What they do together is based on what the person with dementia wants. Volunteers can help people access local groups, such as art or fitness classes. Or they might simply visit them at home for a cup of tea. Volunteers can provide support in the day time, evenings and over the weekend.
Why is Side by Side important?
Our research shows that 40% of people with dementia in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have felt lonely recently. A third of people with dementia in the UK live on their own. Side by Side offers people with dementia opportunities to interact socially and take part in activities. This helps maintain a good quality of life for them and gives carers time for themselves.
- A third of people with dementia lose friends following a diagnosis and nearly two-thirds (62%) of people with dementia who live on their own feel lonely (Dementia 2013: The hidden voice of loneliness.)
- Our research (Dementia 2014) shows that 40% of people with dementia in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have felt lonely recently. This is often caused by anxiety and loss of confidence. It can lead to depression, poor health and speed up the progress of dementia.
- As dementia progresses, relating to the world is more difficult without stimulation. Many people with the condition feel trapped in their own homes, with almost one in 10 only leaving the house once a month (Dementia 2014).
Side by Side will:
- Help us to reach more people with dementia who live alone.
- Help reduce loneliness and social isolation amongst people with dementia.
- Increase the number of people who volunteer for Alzheimer’s Society, providing a network of support for people with dementia.
Side by Side will also:
- Encourage and support people with dementia to keep up their hobbies and interests, or to take up new ones and get out and about.
- Establish a free service for people affected by dementia across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Make it easier for people with dementia to feel part of their community and access places like their local library, park, café or community centre.
For more information please contact:
Danny Branch (Side By Side Co-ordinator)
Tel: 0208 5630001