Giving Back to Dementia Patients for GivingTuesday

photo by JD Mason photo by

JD Mason

The holidays are a joyful time of the year filled with decorative shop windows, lit festive trees, and overall wonder and cheer. We all look forward to the season where we can simply be together with our families. Yet, for those who are living with dementia, the holidays can be a stressful and emotional time of year filled with confusion, unfamiliar places, and unfamiliar faces. This is why many dementia organizations kick off the holiday season by supporting GivingTuesday. Started in the United States in the spirit of Thanksgiving, it has spread to over 98 countries across the world and has become an international day of giving. Here are some organizations from around the world that have created programs to provide awareness of dementia and support for those that suffer from it. Maybe some of these initiatives will help jumpstart your idea as we celebrate GivingTuesday in Canada.

Alzheimer Scotland’s Support Line: During the holidays, depression is common among dementia patients and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can sometimes leave them alone or with a sense of loss. Fighting the belief that no one should be alone for the holidays, Alzheimer Scotland provides a 24/7 service for dementia patients who may be by themselves, or simply lost in all the holiday buzz. For over 25 years, they have provided a friendly voice on the end of the phone for any one simply needing support. On GivingTuesday, they launch their campaign to reach out to supporters for any donations to allow them to run the telephone lines through the holiday season.

Woven Friendships in Philadelphia: For the past three years, the city of brotherly love has been joining together to engage the community and turn the narrative of dementia into a story of hope in color. On GivingTuesday, the Woven Friendships project recruits volunteers to connect with people living with dementia through art and creativity. They promote the quality of life in dementia communities through the art of weaving, and together 100 dementia patients and volunteers wove 17 bright rainbow-colored strips of fabric and glittery ribbons last year. The program helps to promote art in the dementia community, while also teaching Philadelphia about dementia and the importance of coming together.

Giving Music in Waterloo, Canada: Music helps people with dementia rediscover pleasure in the world. Music can help many individuals with dementia relieve stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve musical memory. For GivingTuesday, the Alzheimer Society Music Project in Waterloo creates personalized playlists for dementia patients. They raise money throughout the community to provide free iPods and playlists to people living with dementia in Waterloo.

Hopefully these opportunities have inspired you to take part this GivingTuesday, and start a campaign or event in your neighborhood. All it takes is one simple act of kindness to touch another person’s life.

Spread the word about GivingTuesday