The two local charities that the Club will be supporting this year are the
Alzheimer Café in Farnborough and
Citizens Advice Wokingham.
Alzheimers and Dementia are becoming more prevalent in our society, and I’m sure you all know someone who is affected by this terrible disease.
Alzheimer Café was founded 20 years ago by Dr Gemma Jones based on a model that was very successful in the Netherlands. It provides a friendly environment both for sufferers and carers to come together and openly discuss the disease, its causes, its implications and its consequences.
The Café has helped many people, including a fellow member of the Club, whose wife was diagnosed with Alzheimers at a very early age, and they were both helped to come to accept the condition and to understand the consequences on their lives.
The café meets for a couple of hours every month at a church hall in Farnborough. It is set in an informal atmosphere with coffee and biscuits, before a presentation is given on a topic related to the disease, such as ‘Understanding Memory, Attention and Denial’ and ‘The emotions – Fear and Anger’. After the talk, there is a further opportunity for people to discuss the topic and their own experiences in that area.
Citizens Advice is an organisation which provides, free and confidential advice. Although the offices in Wokingham and Woodley does get some core funding from Wokingham Borough, it is a local charity in its own right and struggles to fund this vital job.
Every year, the 80 volunteer advisors help approximately 2,000 local people. They need training, support, information etc. in order to provide this help to their fellow citizens. Frankly without these volunteers, there would literally be nowhere for a lot of desperate people to turn to.
Specifically, we will be working with Wokingham CA to provide targeted help to older people who are facing the financial and emotional trauma of arranging older age care. Areas to be covered will include Power of Attorney, home help, wills, care home costs, housing implications and Continuing Health Care. This work will dovetail nicely with the work done at the Alzheimer’s Café.