Age Exchange Christmas Memory Tree Appeal 2020

Christmas is a difficult time for many and this year will be remarkably different for all of us. It is impossible to find someone whose life has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. The changes that it has made to this years’ festivities, such as pantomimes, markets and grottos all play such a key part in our festive routines.

However, routines for people living with dementia and their carers were adversely affected since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, with 82% of carers reporting that their loved ones conditions had deteriorated. The loss that our community has faced during the pandemic has been devastating; with over a quarter of people who lost their lives to COVID-19 also had dementia. This crisis has taken a dramatic toll on the health and wellbeing of carers with 95% of carers reporting a negative impact on their mental or physical health and family and friends have spending 92 million extra hours caring for someone living with dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2020).

By Christmas, over 1,000,000 people will be living with dementia in the UK. Without the usual routine festivities, time with family and friends and our in-person groups that the people we support rely on, carers will feel much more isolated this year. We recognise the challenges that many carers whose loved ones live in care homes have endured this year and we know how hard this has been for you. For those who have lost their loved ones, we know how the festive season can be an extremely isolating and lonely time of year.

Ian, who has been attending our groups since March 2019, has chosen to share his story of how Age Exchange has helped him and his wife through this difficult time.

“Life since lockdown has been hard for us we have lost access to all the vital out of home activities which made our lives so much fuller. Crucially for the past 8 months we have been unable to attend our group sessions because of COVID-19 restrictions and we really miss them.  However, Age Exchange have been incredible in continuing to offer us services  – the fortnightly zoom sessions, Aga’s two terrific Movement with Music DVD’s, Mel’s singing DVD (we hope there will be another one.) So much effort has been put into creating the magnificent art activities boxes. And at regular intervals Aga has kept in touch with us by phone and e mail to see how we are faring – so we feel we are constantly in mind, even when life feels desperate.”

Ian, Virtual Day Care Participant

Christmas Memory Tree

This year we would like to remember all of our friends, past and present, with our Christmas Memory Tree. For every donation that we receive in response to this appeal, we will place a purple ribbon on our tree in the Age Exchange Café.

Make a donation now

How you can help people like Ian

  • £500 Funds 10 weeks of our virtual day care service for one couple or isolated person
  • £100 Pays for 2 weeks of the whole service for one couple
  • £40 Pays for 1 week of wellbeing calls to a couple experiencing loneliness
  • £20 Pays for an activity pack for 1 couple

The ribbons will also be available in the café so that anyone who wishes to make a dedication can do so. These ribbons come with a pin so you can also purchase one to wear to show your support for people with dementia and their carers at this challenging time of year. 

We believe that this tree and its ribbons will not only remind us of our most cherished memories of loved ones, but also to show our friends that they are not alone.

On behalf of the staff, volunteers and friends of Age Exchange, we would like to thank you for your support in 2020.