There has never been a greater need for dementia care

Chris paterson and alexander mccall smith web

Scottish Rugby's Chris Paterson and author Alexander McCall Smith got a rare chance to hold Eric Liddell's Olympic medals as they promoted the Eric Liddell Centre's upcoming fundraiser

John MacMillan on why the Eric Liddell Center wants to enhance the quality of life of more people with dementia with a new fundraising event

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27th November 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

The news that Bill Gates is giving £38 million to the Dementia Discovery Fund is further proof of the need for us as a society to prioritise quality of life for the ever increasing numbers in our communities who are living with dementia.

As chief executive of the Eric Liddell Centre, a registered care charity and community hub in Edinburgh, my team and I have the privilege of supporting people living with dementia and carers.

The centre specialises in care for older people and dementia services with the aim of helping people remain involved and included in community. Our person-centred day care service provides support for up to 70 clients per week who have a diagnosis of dementia.

John MacMillan

John MacMillan

The importance of recognising the individuality of each person is central to what we do. We believe it is vital that people are supported to live well with dementia, which affects not only the person, but also their families and other loved ones, who frequently become unpaid carers.

Finding support to cope with the demands of the role and having a break can help to prolong the time that carers can keep their loved ones at home.

Two of the community programmes we run at the centre are lunch breaks and befriending. Our Friday lunch breaks programme provides a safe and welcoming group meal experience for people living with dementia and carers. Diners can relax and enjoy the company of people who understand one another’s experiences, challenges, joys and sorrows.

During the past year, demand for the general services we provide at the centre increased by 24%. I am delighted that we are receiving recognition for what we offer and the quality of our staff and volunteers. However, there is no doubt that for us to extend the work that we do, there is a need for further funds. 

On Tuesday 5 December, we are holding our inaugural fundraising dinner with the support from one of our patrons, award-winning author Alexander McCall Smith, plus backing from Scottish Rugby and the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation (MIPF) who have provided Chris Paterson MBE as our other special guest for the evening. 

I am grateful to all of our wonderful patrons, trustees, supporters and volunteers who give us their time and money to enable us to make a difference. There is still time to join us on the evening or make a bid for one of our charity auction items.