Home » Blog » Time for Tea – My journey with Alzheimer’s
There is something comforting about a nice cup of tea. Holding your hands around the warm mug puts your mind at ease and calms the soul. It’s a social ritual, the first thing offered when someone comes to visit. It’s an easy conversation starter: “isn’t that a lovely cup of tea!” It brings people together and is a sign of hospitality and community. I imagine Alzheimer’s Tea Day was started because of that – something to bring people together and enjoy a cuppa, whilst supporting each other and raising funds for an important cause. This year, Alzheimer’s Tea Day campaign started across Ireland on Thursday 2nd May and I am joining the party.
Why Alzheimer’s Tea Day?
My journey into the world of Alzheimer’s and dementia started with my Granny. Like most people, I associated Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia with the elderly. I have since learned that dementia, a term used to describe a range of conditions which cause changes and damage to the brain, can affect anyone, regardless of age. Each year, over 4,000 people in Ireland develop dementia, which is at least 11 people every day. In the UK, the number is 225,000, that’s one person diagnosed every three minutes. If you have yet to be touched by dementia in some way, the odds are you will.
For me, the story didn’t end with my Granny. In 2010, my father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 58, and my mother became his primary carer. They have been together since they were 13 years old and as an experienced Geriatric Nurse, specialising in dementia, my mother didn’t hesitate to take on his care and look after my father. She continues to do so with so much love to this day, nearly 10 years on, which allows him to end his days with dignity in the comfort of his own home. She is my everyday hero, caring for him. In Ireland, the majority of people with dementia (63%) live at home in the community, with 180,000 people currently caring for or having cared for a family member or a partner.
So why Tea Day? The probability that I might get Alzheimer’s is real. It can start at any stage of your life and it is terminal. Today, there is still no cure, however awareness and understanding of dementia are key to challenging the myths and misconceptions that surround the condition. Support from Not for Profit organisations like Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland and Gemserv’s Charity of Choice, Alzheimer’s Society, campaign for change, fund research and supports people living with dementia today. That is why I’m taking part in Alzheimer’s Tea Day.
Gemserv and my journey
As an employee of Gemserv, I’m lucky to be given a volunteering day every year to support my chosen charity. They will match what I raise and donate 50% towards, Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland and the other 50% to one of Gemserv’s chosen charities for this year, Alzheimer’s Society. It is using profit for purpose, allowing me to support my community with something that is close to my heart. So, please donate what you can.
I hope to raise €1000 from my Tea Day, which I am holding on 11th May. Whilst it may seem a small thing to do, I know first-hand that the money raised will do so much – from giving respite to those who care for a loved one, like my Mum, to supporting services needed for those living with dementia. It might even help to find a cure. So, join me for a cuppa and donate what you can, as a cuppa will do the soul a world of good, especially when it is for a cause as good as this.
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