A welcome new initiative by the Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to recruit and train 8,000 volunteers. They will in turn seek to find one million volunteers to help and support dementia sufferers and their carers.
There are estimated to be nearly 700,000 sufferers in the UK, although less than half of these have been formally diagnosed. This often means they are unsupported or wrongly treated and left to struggle on alone.
Effectively, this is an admission that the State can’t cope and the problem of dementia is being passed to voluntary organisations and individual volunteers. Nonetheless, it is an opportunity to provide much needed support to families who are often under great strain coping with dementia.
One million volunteers will not be easy to find and organise, so it is a big challenge for the Alzheimer’s Society, but there will be great rewards for the volunteers knowing that their help will provide relief and respite to carers.
It is a great opportunity for the younger generation of retired people to give help to older people in need. They may need such help themselves one day.