Alzheimer

Raising awareness of our Dementia Helpline

Alzheimer Scotland has launched a winter campaign to raise awareness of our unique 24-Hour Freephone Dementia Helpline and raise vital funds to support the ongoing crucial support. The national campaign is being supported by external and internal bus advertising across Edinburgh and Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Aviemore, Balfron and Peterhead throughout the festive season.

In operation for over 30 years, the Alzheimer Scotland 24-Hour Freephone Dementia Helpline provides information and emotional support to people living with dementia and their families. Available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, the helpline is there for anyone who needs to talk to about dementia. Whether you’re looking for support and information about a diagnosis; to learn more about ways to talk about dementia with a family member or friend; or seeking urgent information – the helpline is here to help and to listen.

Supported by fundraising income, the helpline is the only 24-hour Freephone Dementia Helpline in operation in the UK and is made possible thanks to a team of 55 volunteers across Scotland, who dedicate their time to be the voice at the end of the line, no matter the time of day.

Helpline volunteer, Margaret Sanderson, who first encountered the 24-Hour Dementia Helpline when caring for her mum who was diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Margaret commented: “I called the helpline twice late at night when caring for my mum and found the experience a big support, so I already had some experience of the helpline before putting myself forward to become a volunteer myself to help support families living with dementia.

“Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia and being the sole carer at the time, I often had many sleepless nights of worry usually around care. Ultimately the calls to the helpline helped me to make some changes to help ease the worry of our family situation at the time.

“As a volunteer and being there at the end of the line to listen to callers who simply need to offload when they’ve maybe had nowhere else to turn to, is so rewarding. Having lived through many of the experiences, I can provide understanding that callers often find such as relief. I still find it really amazing when a caller leaves the call much calmer after talking things through, it’s the little things that matter in those moments.”

Margaret Sanderson with her mum

Jennifer Hall, Alzheimer Scotland’s Helpline Manager, added: “Earlier this year we celebrated 30 years’ of our unique Dementia Helpline with our team of highly skilled volunteers who are all so dedicated to helping us to make sure nobody faces dementia alone. We are there to help provide callers with a voice at the end of the line at any point in the day or night.

“The winter months can be a difficult and happy time for families especially around the festive period. The changes in weather and routines can led to extra difficulties. We want people to know we are there for them at any time of the day, throughout the full festive period and across the year. We can’t provide advice but what we can do is listen, understand and signpost callers to areas where they can access more support.

“The season can be an expensive time of the year but if you do give back at this time of the year, give comfort by donating £10 to our Helpline which will help provide one hour of vital emotional support for someone living with dementia.”

If you have any questions about dementia, or about the support available in your area, call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24-Hour Freephone Helpline on 0808 808 3000 today. Help give an hour of crucial support to someone worried about dementia this winter by donating £10 today at www.alzscot.org/winterhelpline.

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