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Saturday, 26 September 2020

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Dementia UK’s ‘Lives on Hold’ video puts spotlight on dementia

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DEMENTIA UK is launching ‘Lives on Hold’ – a new campaign which aims to shine a spotlight on the lockdown which dementia carers face on an ongoing basis, not just during the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the Lives on Hold campaign, the charity has created a compelling video demonstrating how the general public’s feelings of isolation, loneliness and significant day-to-day restrictions within the current lockdown are similar to past, present and future experiences for the thousands of people living with dementia in the UK.

The video features Dementia UK Ambassadors, actor Jim Broadbent, actress Phyllis Logan and athlete Adelle Tracey, as well as reality star Georgia Kousoulou and musician Naughty Boy – all of whom have or had relatives living with dementia – talking about what they miss about life before lockdown.

Mixed in with these celebrities are Dementia UK staff members, as well as three family carers who have been supported by Dementia UK’s specialist Admiral Nurses; Hannah Riches who cares for her husband Neil with young-onset dementia; John Ley who is a carer for his wife Linda with dementia; and Beryl McCulloch whose husband, Jim, has experienced a rapid deterioration in his dementia during the lockdown.

As the only organisation providing care and support to families with dementia through dementia specialist Admiral Nurses, Dementia UK’s video seeks to highlight the vital need for this support as the lockdown eases.

Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO at Dementia UK, Dr Hilda Hayo, said:

“Families with dementia were in a challenging situation even before the pandemic. However, their issues have now been compounded; daycare centres have closed down depriving carers of vital sources of respite; long periods of isolation and being indoors with relatives with dementia have increased symptoms, and diagnoses have been pushed back. All of this has stored up huge emotional problems for carers and its imperative that their needs are not forgotten as lockdown eases.”

Jim Broadbent said:

“I think lockdown heightens the predicament of carers of people with dementia for all of us and makes us more aware of what the carers go through an awful lot of the time, year after year. It’s a vital service that Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses provide.”

Georgia Kousoulou said:

“What I miss most about life before lockdown is just the freedom to see family and friends. I’ve literally taken so much for granted. Dementia is such a sad, sad thing, and unless you experience it first-hand, you don’t really understand.”

Phyllis Logan said:

“Caring with someone with dementia, that is a very isolating situation to be in. They have been thrown into this situation. Just that simple thing of being able to talk to someone who knows what you’re going through. It’s a lifeline.”

Naughty Boy said:

“The reason my album has been delayed over the last few years is that I have made mum a priority. With mum, with dementia, it’s the music that recreates memories that really makes her the happiest.”

Adelle Tracey said:

“The lack of control is definitely something we’re all struggling with, not being able to have control of our own destiny essentially. I actually feel fortunate that the one thing I can control is the ability to go out and exercise, and still do my sport. I’m very grateful for the carers who are still supporting people as we speak, and even out of lockdown, they will continue to care for people living with dementia as life goes on.”

Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurses work alongside families with dementia, giving them compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions, which can be hard to find elsewhere. They are continually trained, developed and supported by Dementia UK.

There are currently 282 Admiral Nurses across England, Scotland and Wales, working with tens of thousands of families. But still not every family affected by dementia has access to the specialist support they need.

People can access Dementia UK’s online coronavirus hub here, which contains advice for families at this time as well as information around how its Admiral Nurses have been supporting people during the outbreak.

Anyone who has concerns or questions about dementia can also call the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, staffed entirely by specialist dementia Admiral Nurses, on 0800 888 6678, 9am-9pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-5pm on weekends or email at: helpline@dementiauk.org.

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