Thank You

MCF & East Kent Freemasons’

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services is a local independent registered charity that has been operating in Gravesham, Dartford and Swanley and surrounding areas for nearly thirty years.

Dedicated staff and volunteers offer a wide range of services that provide practical and emotional support for people living with dementia – including carers, supporters and family.  The aim is to empower people affected by dementia to carry on their chosen lifestyle.

Picture of a member of staff wearing a mask with a lady enjoying the sunshine outside.

Enjoying the sunshine

 

Picture of paper laid out on a table, these are the activity packs

Activity Packs

 

picture of a lady making chocolate crisp cakes in the kitchen

Making Cakes, Yum, Yum

 

Their services, many of which are free, include:

  •  a 24-hour Helpline
  • a Community Café
  • Carers Learning and Support Groups
  • Peer Support Groups
  • Active Body Active Minds Sessions
  • a Kindred Spirits Young Onset Dementia Group and Activity Group
  • various community Memory Cafés
  • Singing Back the Memories (a dementia singing group)
  • Community Dementia Training
  • Support at Home and Support and Home plus (personal care)
  • Buddy Scheme
  • Supporting local PCT/hospitals/GPs,Monthly
  • Dementia Luncheon Club for those who are on their own in the community

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services have of course been much affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. They are continuing to maintain contact with those affected by dementia through welfare phone calls (over three hundred a week) and have ‘virtual’ Carers Learning/Peer Support/ Singing Back the Memories sessions.

They are creating dementia activity videos by sports specialists (boxfit, chair exercise, yoga, chair ballet) as well as Arts and Craft videos which appear weekly on their website and on YouTube. ‘Virtual’ classes like these help to reduce stress, allow interaction, alleviate feelings of isolation, give focus and maintain fitness and fun.

Picture of a virtual meeting conducted via an app like zoom or google meets

Virtual Group Sessions, supported by dementia staff, maintain contact and give a platform for learning coping techniques and an opportunity to air problems. Dementia Activity Packs, sent weekly to attendees of The Beacon Daycare and to various Care Homes, are helping to focus minds, challenge, evoke conversation and give a sense of achievement when completed. Staff are providing weekly ‘virtual’ chair exercise/activity videos, via Zoom, to increase physical activity, maintain client contact with staff and friends, reduce the feeling of isolation – and give carers a little break.

The demand for services is as high as ever with people affected by dementia needing guidance and support throughout the Pandemic.  Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services are ensuring that those they support “remain connected, engaged and safe”.

Clive Liley of Northfleet Lodge No.4149 has personal experience with the Association. His mother (Jean) uses their services and Clive has attended a training course organised by them which has helped him to better understand the illness and look after his Mum. He thinks their help is fantastic.

Times are difficult for charities like Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services, so Group 1 chose it to make a donation.  Here’s the reply from Fundraiser Sheila Buckley (pictured below) to East Kent Province’s Group 1 Chairman Colin Barden:

Hi Colin

I just wanted to let you know that the £1,000 you so kindly applied for from the Masonic Charitable Foundation arrived in our bank account today. I am writing to Mr Ward to give him our thanks and to acknowledge the donation.

It was so kind of you to think of us and to make an application in support of us.  Our services are needed more than ever at the moment and we are working hard to ensure that we are meeting the needs of those that we support as well as their carers.  Demand for the new activities we have put in place due to covid-19 is really high and it is great to be able to deliver support to everyone ensuring that even though they had to remain at home they do not feel forgotten.

Again our sincere thanks and keep well.

Kind regards

Shelia Buckley

Fundraiser, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services

picture of Sheila Buckley

To see the fantastic work that the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services do, please have a look at their website. 

https://www.alz-dem.org/

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