The Alzheimer 's Society requires that Swindon volunteers can serve to address loneliness among dementia patients

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The Alzheimer Society is looking for 30 Swindon volunteers for their Side by Side service, which aims to combat loneliness among dementia sufferers.

The organization's research shows that a third of dementia patients lost friends from the diagnosis. Moira Conroy, coordinator alongside the Alzheimer's society for Swindon, said: "Loneliness is a real problem for people with dementia, but we know that one of the most important things for those affected is to remain part of their community and keep doing the things they love. "

The bespoke service couples patients with volunteers who have similar interests, allowing both to continue to enjoy the things they love.

"Side by Side volunteering is really a friend to someone who shares an interest or hobby similar to you," said Jane Wheeler, 64, of St Andrews Ridge, Swindon. She started volunteering after moving from Uxbridge with her husband when they retired in 2017.

After seeing an advertisement on Facebook, Ms. Wheeler contacted the Side by Side coordinator and was paired with Iris, 85, for their shared love for music. They attend the group singing for the brain of the Alzheimer & # 39; s Society at St Andrews Hall, Walcott.

Ms. Wheeler said: "We heat our voices in the car, besides having a good laugh on the road, I can honestly say that it is the highlight of my week".

"Jane cheers me up every time I see her. She certainly gives me a lot of confidence," Iris said.

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