Alzheimer Scotland ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ - Befriending Through Life Stories
Alzheimer Scotland was awarded £105,000 in October 2015 to run until September 2020.
This befriending service offers people living with dementia regular contact from a befriender, to provide companionship and to help improve mental and social well-being.
Volunteer befrienders support people living with dementia at all stages of the condition through reminiscence therapy within their own homes. The service connects both new and existing members with one-to-one support from a befriender at a time that is mutually convenient for the person with dementia, their family and the volunteer.
Where other reminiscence projects focus mainly around sport and football in particular, this initiative encompasses a much greater range of subjects from local heritage to working life or cultural changes. These memories are then captured in a life-story book that is completed by the volunteer in partnership with the person with dementia and their families. These resources can aid families in reminiscing and connecting with their loved ones in a way that may previously not have been possible, and in a way that can continue even as the condition deteriorates.
People with dementia have already experienced the benefits of this service, being supported to articulate what they want, with an emphasis on empowerment, choice and respect. They are also showing improved mental and social wellbeing and increased engagement with the community.