Age Exchange Christmas Memory Tree Appeal 2019
Christmas is a difficult time for many, but for people living with dementia and their carers, it can be a particularly challenging and lonely time of year. By Christmas, over 800,000 people will be living with dementia in the UK.
Many of us look forward to decorating our trees, putting up the lights and preparing our Christmas dinners, but for those living with dementia, the change of routine can be extremely disorientating. For carers whose loved ones now live in care homes, it can be distressing to not have them at home. This Christmas, 700,000 carers will be caring for someone with dementia.
For those who have lost their loved ones, it can be an extremely isolating and lonely time of year. We endeavour to extend our support to all those living with dementia and their carers through this difficult season. Moira, who has been attending our groups for 8 years, has chosen to share her story of how her Mother’s passing affected her love of Christmas and how Age Exchange has helped her through this difficult time;-
“I lost my Mum last year. She was 94 and had a stroke which left her unable to read and blind in one eye. I had been a carer to her for 12 years. So Christmas was a really difficult time for me. It was the first Christmas without my Mum and I was always normally busy looking after her. I found it so hard being even lonelier than I was as a carer. I don’t have any friends and I don’t see much of my family. Unfortunately, I spent last Christmas in a psychiatric unit and was discharged in January 2019. I just couldn’t cope without her.
Mum and I had been coming to groups at Age Exchange together before she passed away. Luckily, I had made friends within the group and Age Exchange encouraged me come back in March 2019. One of my friends in the group allowed me to stay with them for a while as they were lonely too. I don’t really go out or see anyone else and I don’t really like Christmas anymore, so if Age Exchange didn’t run these groups and allow carers to attend even when their loved ones have passed, I would still be very lonely and find this time of year even harder.”
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.
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.
There are several ways that you can make a donation to Age Exchange this Christmas to help people like Moira:-
- Online: https://www.age-exchange.org.uk/get-involved/donate/
- Cheque: Made out to “Age Exchange” and posted to 11 Blackheath Village, London SE3 9LA
- Phone: 020 8318 9105
How your donation can help;-
- £400 Funds a whole day of Day Care for up to 14 people with dementia
- £100 Funds a one-to-one support session for someone with dementia
- £50 Pays for an afternoon of targeted dementia activities
- £10 Pays for transport for a couple to attend a carer’s support group
On behalf of the staff, volunteers and friends of Age Exchange, we would like to thank you for your support in 2019 and we look forward to sharing more about our work in the New Year. Should you require any assistance in making a donation or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.