Member of the Week - Alzheimer Scotland

Alzheimer Scotland has been supporting people with dementia and their families for 40 years. Our aim is to make sure nobody faces dementia alone in Scotland. We are a national charity who campaign and invest in research. However are equally as recognised for our local supports in communities across Scotland, which include day care, therapeutic activities, Dementia Advisor support, Link Worker support and Dementia Nurse Consultants. For over 30 years we have operated a 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline which provides information and emotional support for people with dementia, families and professionals.

The team in South Highland covers Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey. Our Dementia Resource Centre on Strothers Lane in Inverness is our local point of contact for anyone looking for help and advice about dementia as well as where we hold our community groups. We also offer day care based at Woodlands on Culduthel Road and in Nairn. Due to Covid-19 our face to face work has had to be postponed so at the present time our groups and activities are taking place virtually. We hope to be able to offer day care on a very small scale at some point in the near future.

My name is Karen and I’m the Dementia Advisor in the team.  My role is to offer advice and support to people living with dementia, carers, family and friends. I am also able to signpost people to local services. I can help in the community by offering Dementia Friends sessions, an initiative to raise awareness of dementia and reduce stigma.  During lockdown I have been keeping in contact with people who were previously attending groups in the Dementia Resource Centre as well as offering support to people who have contacted us for the first time during the pandemic. I have also been involved in starting and developing the online groups and activities.

We would like to raise awareness of our charity and the work that we do. Coronavirus has had a huge impact on the people we support who are facing real isolation as a result of the measures put in place to protect the virus. It’s so important that we raise as much awareness as possible of the support that we can offer during this time. This is a great opportunity for us to get the message out there that we are here to support people both locally and through our 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline (0808 808 3000).

We produce a regular programme of events throughout the year and we have a varied programme of online activities on offer in the run up to Christmas which are open to people living with dementia and their carers. The activities include Christmas crafts, a sing along to Christmas carols and songs, a festive dementia café, a scavenger hunt with a dementia dog, a Christmas quiz, a “time out” relaxation session and a Christmas party.

We also offer regular online quizzes, carers support groups and dementia cafés.

Our December “What’s online guide” can be viewed here: https://www.alzscot.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/What%27s%20Online%20December%202020.pdf

Like all charities our fundraising has been affected by Covid-19, however there are ways to get involved.

Gina and Tonic on Saturday 19 December from 7.30-9.30pm. Purchase a box which contains a 50ml bottle of 4 different Scottish gins, Fever Tree tonic and ginger ale, a programme card, a pair of socks and exclusive access to join the event where Gina McKie from Go Radio meets the gin makers. https://www.alzscot.org/our-work/events/gina-and-tonic-meets-the-makers-0

12 days of fitmas- Centered around home fitness exercises and designed for all abilities, it's so easy to get involved. Complete the challenge over any 12 days throughout November and December and donate £12. https://bit.ly/36exra6https://bit.ly/36exra6- Virtual Christmas concert premiering on 22 December at 7pm. See bit.ly/AlzscotXmas


We are excited to be working on our virtual resource centre, an online space where people will be able to benefit from all the offerings of a Dementia Resource Centre in the comfort of their own home. There will be access to our groups and activities; such as Music Memories, a zone specifically for carers, the ability to chat to a Dementia Link Worker or Allied Health Professional and most of all; the comfort of knowing you’re in a safe space. https://www.alzscot.org/virtualbrick

ADAM (About Digital and Me) is a new platform which will help people to find the right pieces of technology at the right time. https://www.alzscot.org/adam

Purple Alert Scotland is a free app designed by people living with dementia and carers, Alzheimer Scotland staff, Police Scotland, Social Work, Dementia Friends Scotland, Health and Social Care Partnerships and Telecare Services.It has been upgraded and the new app was launched in September. Www.Alzscot.org/purplealert

Alzheimer Scotland app which is full of useful information that will be handy to have in your pocket. Both apps are available on Apple and Android devices

We have our online shop featuring some nice ideas for Christmas: https://www.alzscotshop.com/

We shared our business over the next 12 months: Whilst we hope that we will be able to open our face-to-face support over the next 12 months, we also want to develop what we can offer online which includes the work of our Virtual Resource Centre. We know just how vital our physical Centres are, however we also know that they aren’t always accessible for people – either through distance or perhaps something like mobility issues. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the need to expand on our digital offerings so we can make sure we are accessible, and can support, more people than ever. We’re also prioritising the following areas.

Following on from our Tipi project, we have exciting new developments with our outdoor work and we’ll be able to share more details about this in the new year.
We are working on new initiatives for fundraising and are looking to develop more corporate partnerships. We will continue to offer our Dementia Friends training to help us work towards a Dementia Friendly Scotland.  We are keen to offer this to any businesses that would like to learn more about how to support people with dementia. We are looking to increase the number of volunteers that we have supporting us. 

ICC asked us what we value most about Chamber membership: “The opportunity to increase awareness of our services, the chance to meet with other members and learn about what is available in the area. A great way to be embedded into the local business community.”

We shared our top-tip with other Chamber members to maximise their membership: “Be open to listening as well as sharing your information. Get involved in finding out what the chamber can offer. Covid-19 has had a big impact on the people we support."

Here are some quotes from them about how they have felt being supported by Alzheimer Scotland:

Thank you for your call, it has really cheered me up and got me laughing 

This has been the best phonecall I’ve had about this 

I appreciate, as ever, everything you are doing 

I feel a lot better having spoken to you.  It is wonderful to know there is a phone number and you’ll be there 

I’m really pleased to get these calls, I really appreciate it 

Thank you so much, I’ve enjoyed the blether 

big thanks for the quiz today - really enjoyed it. Great to hear from you all 

I find having a chat together very helpful

Website: https://www.alzscot.org/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AlzheimerScotland
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alzscot
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alzscot/