21st October 2020

Alzheimer’s Support has experienced record demand for its Home Support service, with visits made to clients more than doubling to 388 a week.  

The surge in demand was caused by the effects on families of lockdown and greater access to medical and support services since it was lifted. According a survey carried out by Alzheimer’s Support, people living at home with dementia and their family carers were disproportionately affected by lockdown and symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and anxiety increased. And family carers, many of them in older age groups, also struggled to cope with social isolation and, in many cases, extra workload.

The charity’s support workers spend quality time with people living with dementia either in their home or out and about in the community, offering family carers time to themselves. Rather than experience in the care sector, the main skills a support worker requires is kindness, empathy and patience. Their visits can make a huge difference to the quality of life of both their clients and their families.

Struggles replaced by rainbows and sunshine

Annette Decarteret’s mother, Mary, receives four hours of visits a week. She said: “Since Mandy (Mary's support worker) has been looking after my mum she has become much more confident about leaving the house and is talking so much more about the future (which is something she was always negative about).  Mandy is so thoughtful and is an “Angel” in our eyes.  We are extremely lucky to have her looking after mum and dad and feel that the struggles we were having last year have been replaced by rainbows and sunshine.”

Babs Harris, Alzheimer’s Support CEO said: “We have always known our services make an enormous difference to people’s wellbeing and our support workers are a crucial part of that. People told us time and again how much they need us, so we are moving heaven and earth to make that happen and are now urgently recruiting support workers in the Salisbury and Pewsey area to satisfy that increasing demand. It’s very rewarding work. After all, how many people can say their job brings sunshine into a family’s life?”

Apply to become a support worker