Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD), an Alzheimer’s Society movement created and championed by leaders from across the insurance industry, has launched an emergency fundraising appeal to try to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on those most vulnerable to the crisis.
It warned that with people over age 70 being asked to isolate themselves for 12 weeks as a precautionary measure, social isolation is an enormous threat to the 700,000 people with dementia in this age group.
The crisis is separating them from their loved ones and their communities at a time when they most need their support.
IUAD warned this isolation will accelerate some people’s decline irreversibly, and without day to day contact the effects of dementia will be greatly exacerbated.
Many people who are sole carers of people with dementia have symptoms of the virus, so are unable to visit their loved ones in person.
On top of this, as major events are cancelled across the globe, charities are seeing their income slashed drastically, putting vital support services at risk.
IUAD is urging people across the industry to rise to the challenge and help to support people with dementia and their families throughout these troubled times.
A gift of £2.65, the average Starbucks latte, would allow 16 people to access Talking Point, an online community where people affected by dementia can connect and share experiences without leaving their homes.
Meanwhile, £95 could fund a Dementia Adviser for an entire day, who will be reaching out via telephone to people and providing advice tailored to each individual’s specific needs.
Chris Wallace, IUAD chair, said: “As an industry that exists to support people in times of crisis we simply cannot let people with dementia and their carers face this alone. We are asking you on their behalf to take action.”
Alice Hardy, head of development at Alzheimer’s Society, said the charity has had to suspend its face-to-face services and, in its place, must ramp up services over the phone and online.
“Your support will mean we can do exactly that,” she stated.