Dementia causes severe memory loss, confusion and drastic character changes. People with dementia often need round-the-clock care to help them carry out basic tasks like eating, drinking and washing.
Officials are understandably concerned – just how will Britain continue to provide care for such a huge volume of people who themselves can give little back to society?
One pioneering scheme in the East Yorkshire town of Hull is hoping to prove that there is a way for dementia sufferers to maintain their health and well-being while playing a useful role in the community.
The Volunteering in the Third Age of Life (Vital) project is a pilot scheme run by the Professional Advocacy Support Service (Pass).
The scheme will see early-stage dementia patients given a personal mentor to assist them in carrying out any kind of community work they choose.
Pass Director Yvonne Shaw said: “We want people to think differently and start to understand that people with dementia still have a value and purpose.”
It is hoped that by doing simple but important tasks under friendly supervision, people with dementia will be able to live a more fulfilled life. They will be given choice, control and freedom – things that are inevitably taken away in a hospital environment.
The Vital project is being funded by money from the Big Lottery Fund, as well as NHS Hull.
Organisers are looking for fifteen sufferers in the Hull area to trial the scheme.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the changes happening in your life. To find out how counselling can help clients come to terms with this distressing diagnosis, please visit our recently updated Dementia page.
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