The devastating impact of lockdown on thousands of Scottish families living with dementia triggered a 20 per cent rise in calls to Alzheimer Scotland’s vital 24-hour helpline over the last three months.
The charity say prolonged isolation, combined with the closure of their support centres, means many of the 90,000 people affected in Scotland are at crisis point.
CEO Henry Simmons welcomed a new partnership with Scottish Building Society, whose members voted to adopt Alzheimer Scotland as their charity of the year, and hopes that other major companies will follow suit.
Society staff at branches in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Galashiels, Ayr and Inverness will support the helpline with expert advice on personal finance, help raise much-needed funds and promote Alzheimer Scotland’s range of vital services.
At the culmination of Dementia Awareness Week, Mr Simmons said: “Dementia is not in lockdown as the 20 per cent rise in demand for our helpline shows. This vulnerable group are facing lockdown restrictions for an extended time and are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. In short, the people we support have never needed us more.
“The launch of our partnership with Scottish Building Society comes at a time when we are having to adapt the way the work to ensure we are still able to reach the vulnerable people who need us.
“More than ever it is essential nobody faces dementia alone so we are delighted to have the chance to work alongside Scottish Building Society staff and customers to help raise much-needed support and awareness for our cause.
“We hope more Scottish business will rally round to help the thousands of Scots in need of help. One in three of us will go on to develop dementia at some point in our lives. No-one is immune.”
Paul Denton, Scottish Building Society Chief Executive, said: “It is critical at this time that those living with dementia and their partners, carers and friends know that they are not alone. Our members recognised the vital contribution Alzheimer Scotland makes and overwhelmingly voted to adopt them as charity of the year at out AGM.”
Alzheimer Scotland challenge misconceptions, tackle inequalities and fight for the rights of those impacted by dementia in Scotland. As the country’s leading dementia charity, they aim to empower, educate and enable people living with dementia to live well with the disease, keeping them connected to their own community and networks.
Alzheimer Scotland offer a range of personalised support and choices. They provide a network of specialist Dementia Advisors, NHS Dementia Nurse Consultants, Dementia Research Centres, the 24-hour Freephone Dementia Helpline and numerous local support services, reminiscence programmes and Dementia Resource Centres in communities all across Scotland.