Alzheimer Society Cancels Tea Day And Makes Urgent Appeal For Support

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THE Alzheimer Society of Ireland is appealing for public support after it had to postpone it’s annual Alzheimer’s Tea Day because of the Coronavirus crisis.

It has launched an urgent appeal for vital dementia supports to help them to continue their vital work with people with dementia and their families during the current public health emergency, described as a ‘perfect storm’ for the charity.

The ASI: Alzheimer’s Tea Day, is the biggest and most important fundraiser over the past 25 years and was due to take place in every town in Ireland on Thursday, May 7.

Its cancellation will contribute to a severe drop in fundraising of €1 million; its 48 day care centres are closed; and its vital supports such as Social Clubs, Alzheimer Cafes and Support Groups are all postponed until further notice.

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However, The ASI continues to support people with dementia and their families as their Home Care, Dementia Advisers, National Helpline and Online Family Carer Training are all still running.

In addition they are implementing new ways of providing ASI supports remotely to their clients and their families such as regular telephone calls and activity packages for people to use in their own homes.

Most people who are living with dementia are in the high-risk category for Covid-19 and most of their carers – their husbands and wives – are also older and many have underlying health conditions.

And now, with the majority of ASI’s supports now closed, thousands of vulnerable people are facing this emergency alone, without the supports and constant care that they urgently need.

As part of the urgent appeal, members of the public are being asked to make a special emergency donation today on to help provide essential care and support to those living with dementia whose lives are being torn apart by Covid-19.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s CEO, Pat McLoughlin said: “Covid-19 is a public health emergency we have never seen the likes of before and this is affecting everyone on the planet. People with dementia are vulnerable and often confused and Covid-19 has heightened that for them. Today, we should all be preparing for the Alzheimer’s Tea Day, our biggest and most important fundraising event of the year. Alzheimer’s Tea Day has been our biggest fundraising event over the last 25 years and the organisation is so dependent on the funds that it brings in each and every year.

“However, the Covid-19 health crisis means that Alzheimer’s Tea Day has now been postponed and the vital funds it raises have been lost, so we are asking for your help to continue to support people with dementia and their families and carers.

“Our day centres; social clubs; Alzheimer cafés; face to face carer training plus many other services we provide are now closed due to Covid 19 and this is putting even more pressure on people with dementia, their families and carers, isolating them further and causing further stress and ill health. We must continue to raise money to provide alternative supports to assist our clients and their families. We must keep our helpline, home care, dementia advisor services and online family carer training open. We must stay connected with people with dementia and their families at this time, that’s why we really need your support –  to keep going, keep supporting and keep connecting.”

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