AN elderly woman battling dementia and lockdown loneliness told how a telephone befriending service run by a Glasgow charity has made her ‘life bearable’.

More than 3,500 older people across the city have received a regular call from Glasgow’s Golden Generation volunteers over the past two months, proving comfort and assistance with food or medicine deliveries.

With social distancing restrictions in place it has not been possible for staff to visit the elderly in their own homes and the service has been moved to video and telephone support.

READ MORE: Deaths from dementia double since coronavirus lockdown 

The charity, which runs three day centres, say lockdown had been particularly difficult for older adults with dementia who live alone, as well as those in care home, due to the lack of social interaction, family visits and routine.

Staff said one woman with dementia who has used the befriending service had written to the charity saying: ”My lockdown days are bearable now that I have a friendly, familiar befriender keeping in touch and access to the basics I need.”

Karen Moyes, Volunteer Engagement Manager, said: “We have seen a huge amount of interest in the service, with a team of staff and volunteers making 3,500 befriending calls since lockdown began. 

”Whilst the pandemic means this support is now via phone and video, it continues to make a huge difference to older adults in Glasgow. 

“The befriending service has been crucial in supporting older adults living with dementia at this time, especially where service users don’t have family or friends nearby.

“The service can seamlessly link in with the charity’s day centres which are providing parcels of food to older adults in their homes, meaning service users can access the essential items they need.

READ MORE: Daughter's dementia warning after mum's first disappearance 

“This gives peace of mind to families and carers who are not able to drop off essentials and also means that service users don’t need to visit busy supermarkets where queues and social distancing rules can be overwhelming.”

Meanwhile, the charity Alzheimer Scotland used this week's Dementia Awareness drive to renew its call for free care for people with advanced formes of the disease.

A motion was lodged in parliament by Labour’s Monica Lennon in support of the campaign.

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of the charity said: “I suspect that many members of the public might not know that, even at the present time, many people with advanced dementia fighting coronavirus in a care home will still have to pay for their care. 

“If we ever needed a reason to stop this inequality, coronavirus is it. Reforming this system must be the bedrock of our recovery, and it should start now.”

Glasgow’s Golden Generation is currently recruiting volunteer befrienders. 
If you are interested, get in touch with the charity on 0141 221 9924 or email