Recently I went to play Bingo. Yes, that’s right, Bingo, I had been invited by Doris to meet the Lunch Bunch Alzheimer’s support & social group she runs, and it was great fun.
The Lunch Bunch are a friends meeting group, run and organised by the dedication and experience of carers and former carers within the group in Cheshire. With support from the Council and great fund raising by the group they provide many ventures outside of their usual meeting place too.
When I met Doris the organiser I instantly saw what a lovely caring woman she is, listening to her talk with enthusiasm and passion about The Lunch Bunch and providing support for those affected by Alzheimer’s was inspiring.
When a person with dementia finds that their mental abilities are declining, they often feel vulnerable and in need of reassurance and support. The people closest to them – including their carers, friends and family – need to do everything they can to help the person to retain their sense of identity and feelings of self-worth.
There are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK.
There are 670,000 carers of people with dementia in the UK
Family carers of people with dementia save the UK over £8 billion a year.
Doris who set up the group said, “We’ve all been through things that Alzheimer’s can cause. It is really hard to understand if you have not experienced it.” Doris spoke of the isolation a carer may feel as they are unable to leave their loved one alone and often it is too difficult to go out together. The group was set up to support carer & cared for and to provide a social space for all to enjoy together.
The group is very friendly and sociable. Getting out and about together is one of their main aims during the spring and summer months, something many carers could not do alone. It is the unique spirit of the Lunch Bunch that has enabled them to develop and flourish. There is no pressure to join in as the enjoyment can be felt just by being there.
Recent activities have included: Sing-a-long of old songs, light exercise and Zumba, trips to Boundary Mill, Bowling and The Chocolate House. The group have also taken part in pottery with Paul at Norton Priory.
If you’re a carer of a loved one suffering from Dementia and are looking for support please contact Alzheimer’s.org.uk and they will provide information on groups in your area.
NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens announced £5m extra funding for GPs to increase identification of people with dementia.
Sir Jackie Stewart has just launched a new charity Race against dementia to fund breakthrough and innovative dementia research.