Following my retirement as a Nurse I have worked as a volunteer with the Alzheimer's Society for 20 years. The Music and Activity groups we are running started over approximately 14 years ago and have been superb. Working with people with dementia and their carers has been not only rewarding but a pleasure. I have met some of the most interesting and amazing people, we have fun but are also there to support people during the more difficult times in their dementia journey.
What people with dementia want more than anything else is normality and inclusion. For the carers they need a listening ear and someone who cares and understands. I cared for my Mother in Law who had Vascular Dementia and who lived with us for 9 years. Yes, it was difficult, but knowing you are not on your own makes all the difference.
Working now with the Avon Valley Dementia Support (AVDS) gives us the opportunity to be part of the Dementia Friendly Communities in the Avon Valley. The Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Support Worker and Dementia Advisor will be attending our groups and will be there to support all concerned. As a volunteering role you could not find better and I consider myself very lucky to have met so many wonderful people and to have worked with so many super volunteers.