At Age Exchange we provide people living in the community with dementia and their carers the opportunity to be part of a supportive group and to discover new things to learn by expanding their creative skills.
Our Caring Together service supports 150 people living with dementia and their carers, providing regular opportunities to participate in therapeutic, relaxing and inspiring activities together in a non-clinical setting, reducing stress and reconnecting while creating individual/collective art works.
Our nine weekly groups provide a lifeline to cope with increasingly challenging circumstances as dementia progresses.
- Mixed activities and social support sessions for older people receiving care and their carers.
- Day care service for older people who live with dementia and their carers to engage both carer and cared for in meaningful, sensory activity; music, movement, craft, and reminiscence.
- Arts and craft activities for older people receiving care and their carers
- Activities and support groups for under 65s living with young-onset dementia and those who provide care as family, friends or staff.
- Accessible reminiscence arts activities for people who live with dementia and carers.
- Chair-based movement sessions for cared for who live with dementia and other disabilities and those who are carers, with easy-to-follow exercise routines to music.
Both cared-for and carers will experience improved wellbeing, independence, and reduced feelings of isolation through participation. Carers experience better mental health and increased resilience, so those they care for can live at home for longer.
The aim of the chair-based exercise programme is to provide opportunities to fulfil social needs, improve upper and lower body strength, improve functional movements and mobility, increase confidence and self-efficacy. It also allows us to be creative and enjoy music and movement in a safe, warm and non-judgemental environment.
Classes are safe and fun which improves participants' wellbeing.
Evidence from a meta-analytic review in the Journal of Ageing and Physical Activity showed that physical exercise, when performed within a social environment, can enhance the mood and reduce feelings of loneliness.
The chair-based programme is adapted to suit the individual and is progressive which allows people of different abilities to workout together.
- Weekly chair based movement classes led by our Dementia Service Coordinator, Aga. It's an accessible class for all older people living with dementia, other disabilities and their carers to explore movement and music to help to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
- Weekly chair Yoga led by Blackheath Yoga instructors and belly dancing classes are held at our community hub which are well received by older people in our local community, people living with dementia, other disabilities and their carers.
- Movement DVDs offered as part of our Virtual Day Care Service during the pandemic, to people living with dementia who are housebound and available to purchase by the general public to support the charity. You can view these DVDs free of charge at our virtual art gallery https://vimeo.com/channels/ageexchangeresources
64% of carers have not been able to take any breaks at all in the first six months of the pandemic and 78% of carers reported that the needs of the person they care for have increased (Carers UK 2020, Caring behind closed doors).
This picture only worsened throughout the course of the pandemic as carers witnessed their loved ones diagnosis progress at an alarming rate due to long periods of isolation and loneliness due to restrictions and shielding.
As the UK comes out of lockdown, Age Exchange aims to build the resilience of those living with dementia in our community and their carers. Throughout the pandemic, we delivered our virtual day care service including reminiscence arts activity boxes, singing & movement DVDs and telephone befriending service.
We know that we have a lot of work to do in helping people living with dementia & their carers to feel confident in engaging with the outside world once again. Our services play a vital role in this transition phase and we are pleased to have now welcomed back participants to smaller and shorter in person reminiscence arts and wellbeing activity groups since 4th May 2021. You can help Age Exchange to improve the wellbeing of the people we support who have been impacted by a lack of social engagement caused by the pandemic.
We need your help to be able to continue delivering our services in the post-pandemic world. Age Exchange now face the toughest challenge yet; an increase in demand for our services and less funding available to charities throughout the UK due to the financial burden of the pandemic.
What could £1,000 help Age Exchange to achieve?
- £1,000 could fund a whole day of Day Care for 35 people living with dementia & their carers
- £1,000 could pay for a one-to-one support session for 10 people living with dementia
- £1,000 could fund 50 afternoons of targeted dementia activities
- £1,000 could pay for 100 couples transport to a carers support group
Thank you for supporting people living with dementia & their carers!