Psychology student provides vital support for those living with Alzheimer’s

‌‌Older people caring for each other

The Organisation

Dementia can happen to anyone and there's currently no cure. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and the number is set to rise to 1 million by 2021. Alzheimer's Society believes passionately that life doesn't end when dementia begins. They help anyone affected by dementia, and aim to keep people with dementia connected to their lives and the people who matter most.

www.alzheimers.org.uk

The Challenge

Alzheimer's Society needed someone to provide support to people with dementia in their home and/or in their local community and help the person to take part in appropriate social and/or recreational activities.

Skills Sought

  • Knowledge of dementia and its impact on people
  • Good verbal communication and listening skills, especially face to face
  • Able to work individually and as part of a team
  • Have literacy skills
  • Have the ability to volunteer within service boundaries
  • Are comfortable following policies, procedures and guidance including confidentiality

The Solution

Final year Psychology Student, Victoria Hives, was recruited through the Psychology Voluntary Placement Programme for a placement of over 20 hours with Alzheimer's Society, visiting and befriending a person with dementia on a regular basis.

Impact

The student’s work with the charity provided vital support to a range of individuals living with Alzheimer's. Furthermore, the student received valuable experience which developed her skills which will be useful in her future studies and career.

Benefits

  • Provided a more robust support to their existing client base
  • Raised awareness of the charity

Organisation Feedback

"It is great to engage with younger volunteers and it was an extremely positive experience to be involved with the programme.  We are keen to be involved again and look forward to welcoming students from the programme in the future." Claire Morris, Volunteering Officer for Lancashire, Alzheimer’s Society.

Student Feedback

"Working with the Alzheimer's society has been one of the most rewarding and insightful experiences of my life. I have been fortunate enough to develop friendships and relationships not only with the other volunteers and members of staff at the society, but also with many extraordinary individuals who cope with this devastating disease, and the people who care for them on a daily basis.

"My volunteer work has also provided me with plenty of experience and and allowed me to develop skills which I will use in my further studies and career. I still volunteer for the society now, as well as other similar organizations, and have even expanded my contributions within the society, taking part in more activities and groups.” Victoria Hives, Final year BSc Psychology Student, Alzheimer’s Society Volunteer.

Future Plans

­­Alzheimer’s Society continues to work with the University in future projects including hosting future volunteers.