The Vital Work of the Alzheimer's Society Who We're Proud to Support at Living North LIVE at York Racecourse
Julie Lee, community fundraiser for North Yorkshire, Hull and East Riding, tells us more about their vital work in the county
Their services include their support line (0333 150 3456) where callers can get personalised and confidential advice, information and emotional support, and their online forum, Talking Point, where people can ask questions and share experiences and practical tips. ‘We also have a range of regional services, including our Dementia Advisers who offer both telephone and face-to-face post diagnosis support to help people with dementia get better access to health, community, housing and care services,’ adds Julie. ‘They also provide crucial emotional support to those with dementia to help them take control of their condition and live the life they choose. Right now, too many are facing dementia alone without adequate support.’ Alzheimer’s Society is determined to change that by being there for everyone affected.
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The pandemic was especially difficult for the charity. ‘People with dementia, who make up at least 70 percent of care home residents, were the worst hit by coronavirus, with thousands dying,’ Julie says. ‘More than a quarter of those who died after contracting the virus had dementia. Many of our supporters also told us the condition of their loved ones with dementia deteriorated rapidly as a result of increased isolation during lockdown. We continue to campaign for the rights of people affected by dementia, putting pressure on the government to make dementia a priority.’
With Dementia Action Week approaching (15th–21st May), they will be highlighting the importance of getting a timely diagnosis so everyone can access support, advice and treatments as soon as possible. ‘And we will continue to fund research to improve treatments and support,’ says Julie. ‘We have high hopes for a new drug, called Lecanemab, which showed a statistically significant reduction in cognitive decline in people in the early stages by removing amyloid, a protein associated with the disease, from the brain. It was our research, over 30 years ago, that identified a build-up of amyloid as a factor in Alzheimer’s. This research laid the foundations for Lecanemab. There is still a long way to go before the drug is available on the NHS, but it offers hope for the future and could lead to further breakthroughs.’
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Community fundraisers like Julie play a key role in encouraging the local community to take action. ‘We do this through networking, delivering talks on the work of Alzheimer’s Society, and Dementia Friends information sessions which enable people to learn more about dementia and the small ways they can help,’ she says. ‘Our work is supported by a fantastic network of committed volunteers. All of this is to help make a positive difference to the lives of anyone living with dementia and their families.’
'As Community Fundraisers for Yorkshire
we are at the heart of driving income
for the charity in our region'
Alzheimer’s Society rely on donations from the public to help fund the work they do. ‘As Community Fundraisers for Yorkshire we are at the heart of driving income for the charity in our region,’ Julie says. ‘We love working with communities, groups and businesses who organise all sorts of fun and creative ways to fundraise. We could not do the work we do without our amazing supporters – they really do make an incredible difference.’
Visitors to Living North LIVE will have the opportunity to learn more about Alzheimer’s Society, their work and how to access support. ‘We will be holding meaningful and engaging talks throughout the day, and exciting fundraising activities,’ Julie reveals. ‘If anyone is worried about the symptoms of dementia, their memory or a loved one and wants to talk, we’ll be there to answer questions, signpost to services and provide literature. Equally if anyone is interested in any of our fundraising initiatives or events such as Trek26, Memory Walk or Elf Day, we would love to have a chat. We also have fantastic volunteering opportunities and if you’d like to know more, our current volunteers will be there to answer any questions you may have.’
If you’re an individual, business leader or community group, Alzheimer’s Society would love to hear from you. Support them with a charity of the year partnership, take part in one of their events, or sign up to a Dementia Friends information session. There are so many ways you can get involved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today to discuss.
• A visionary 10-year plan for dementia, backed by proper funding and powerful partners, to transform the lives of the 900,000 people with dementia in the UK.
• Social care reform – addressing the social care workforce crisis, putting people in control of their care and protecting people from catastrophic costs.
• The National Dementia Mission – doubling dementia research funding, making sure spending is driven by what people affected by dementia need, through Alzheimer’s Society and other charities.