At Lyrics & Lunch today, ten or so ladies made sandwiches & soup for people living with dementia and their carers. They played music & we all sang. And for those who are no longer able to speak, percussion instruments were given out, shaken and bashed about to make a giant wall of sound. A couple who had just celebrated their 60th (!) wedding anniversary waltzed whilst we sang Moon River. People laughed and people cried.
Going to the group is a joyful, yet sobering experience. It is simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching to watch carers trying to keep strong whilst their loved ones are slipping away in front of their eyes.
Up and down the country, volunteers are working quietly away in churches & community centres, helping to fill the gaping hole in our social care system. They provide help, support & an inclusive welcome for those living with dementia and their families. These groups are a lifeline: for many, looking after someone with dementia can be extremely isolating and lonely.
More research needs to be done *now* into cause and prevention. 225,000 people will develop dementia this year – that’s one every three minutes. Crisis is certainly looming…
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. In the U.K. there are over 40,000 people under 65 with dementia. Overall, there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the U.K. Numbers are set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will get to 2 million by 2051.
Our 40 x 40 team will be running in 2019 to raise vital funds for research through ARUK. And boy do we need it.