More volunteers needed
A DUNMOW branch of a national charity is calling for more funding and volunteers following a report predicting a 38-per-cent rise in people with dementia by 2021. Tony Middleton, manager of the Uttlesford branch of the Alzheimer s Society, explained that
A DUNMOW branch of a national charity is calling for more funding and volunteers following a report predicting a 38-per-cent rise in people with dementia by 2021.
Tony Middleton, manager of the Uttlesford branch of the Alzheimer's Society, explained that last year the Alzheimer's Society commissioned the London School of Economics and Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London to produce a report on dementia in the UK.
He said: "One of the things this established was an accurate estimate of the number of people in the UK who currently have dementia. It also provided an authoritative estimate for the number of people who will have dementia up until 2051."
It showed there are approximately 683,597 people in the UK with dementia, and this will rise to 940,110 by 2021.
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This increase in numbers means additional pressure on what Mr Middleton says is an already strained system and he calls for more funding to be made available for research into dementia and the drugs used to treat it as well as an increase in the support that is available for sufferers and carers.
Mr Middleton said: "We are currently looking for volunteers to help, especially with our social care activities. This is a very rural area, particularly Dunmow and Little Dunmow so we are looking for volunteers who can be drivers and bring people in to the town from the surrounding areas.
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"Although people can volunteer through the Uttlesford Volunteer Centre in Dunmow, what we like to do is recruit a group of around 10 people who we can place on our own training course to ensure they are fully prepared. These training sessions are held one afternoon per week for five or six weeks."
Andrea Key, from High Stile, Dunmow, became a volunteer in 2000 after helping to look after her mother. "When my mother became ill it was difficult and I went to the Alzheimer's Society for help. They explained they were there for anyone with dementia, not just Alzheimer's," she said.
"When you volunteer, the society lets you use the skills you already have. The course I was sent on was brilliant in understanding the issues facing people with dementia, and the people running it made it fun."
People interested in volunteering should call 01371 872519.