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Supporting dementia patient carers during the Covid-19 pandemic

Dunbar Dementia Network

As some social separation eases, many people in local communities are still facing restrictions on social interactions, including those with dementia and their carers.

Before Covid-19 struck, many carers met twice a week through the Dunbar Dementia Carers Group, which is part of the Dunbar Dementia Network.

The gatherings enabled carers to share experiences, talk through possible issues and, alongside volunteers, seek further help or support.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 meant the group had to look at other ways to interact and help minimise any feeling of isolation and loneliness.

The biggest problem has been ensuring those carers and volunteers had the right technology and training to use it.

That’s when the Dunbar Dementia Network approached Community Windpower and BeGreen Dunbar’s Covid-19 crisis fund for support.

The group needed £2,500 to help purchase eleven iPads, alongside funding from Connecting Scotland and funds Dunbar Dementia Network has raised itself.

Having access to the iPads will ensure all members of the Dunbar Dementia Carers Group will now be able to attend remote meetings with one another and communicate via email with fellow members, families and friends.

The charity also has a volunteer who helps give people the knowledge and confidence in using the iPads and the internet for stimulation, answering questions, online shopping and entertainment.

This in addition to helping with online security and identifying scam emails.

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, which operates the Aikengall Community Wind Farms in East Lothian, said: “Dunbar Dementia Network is a fantastic organisation in East Lothian, and one we’ve worked with previously through our BeGreen centre, so we didn’t hesitate went approving this funding application.

“At times like these we need to support local community organisations, particularly those that are helping and protecting vulnerable members of our society who are caring for others and experiencing periods of loneliness.

“The iPads will provide a boost to carers and volunteers, enabling them to continue keeping each other company, sharing stories and generally helping fellow members in what are very challenging circumstances

“We know the £2,500 we’ve provided to is going to make a difference right where it’s needed.”

In total Community Windpower has set aside £255,000 in its Covid-19 crisis fund.

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