PALZ UK began in March this year after a lot of work raising awareness of the organisation to come, which aims to provide those in the early stage of dementia with stimulating activity, in a work type environment, with others of similar background.
The group meet every two months at the Shropshire Conference Centre, when there is a talk by a high calibre speaker. Before, after and indeed often part way through the talk, there is coffee and cake and an opportunity for discussion and socialising. Some stay on for lunch in the excellent dining room.
PALZ is providing a service which has been lacking, to those from challenging and demanding jobs, who are now living with Alzheimer’s or dementia from other causes.
No one will be turned away. The only eligibility criteria is that the person is in the early stage of dementia, though some may be a little further down the road, but still be able to be stimulated and challenged by the talks.
It soon became apparent here in Shropshire that there was relief that PALZ had been set up. Remarks were made such as “This is just what we have been looking for” and “It is wonderful to be treated as normal”
The group consists of delightful people, all men apart from one lady. Some come on their own, most with partners. This has led to supportive friendships being formed. Participants have joined the committee.
Since March this year we have had 5 excellent talks and one visit (to a prize winning organic farm) and I would urge anyone who has not looked at the web site to see what range of subjects has been on offer – palzuk.org.uk
For the web site, we are very grateful to Richard Steedman of Brass Comet who has set it up at a hugely reduced cost.
We are so grateful to the manager of the Shropshire Conference centre, Sandra Sturge, who has encouraged and supported those of us involved and provided, at the centre, the perfect meeting place for PALZ as you will see on the web site.
What next for PALZ UK?
1. To plan meetings we look for speakers and business sponsors.
The 2018 sponsors were as follows:
Shropshire Conference centre
Wace Morgan solicitors
SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly)
Redbourne Wealth Management IFA
Whittingham Ridell – Accountants
Miller Evans – Estate Agents
Philip Davies Public relations
Brass Comet – Web designer
Without the sponsors we would not be able to offer this hugely valuable service. Thank you all so much!
Please let us know if you are aware of businesses keen to sponsor.
The speakers were:-
- Our Medical Director Professor Tony Elliott
- Richard Bifield
- Clive Rogers
- Tim Downes, who also hosted a follow up visit to his prize winning organic farm.
- Professor Tim Jenkins
All of the above generously gave their time and expertise to PALZ UK and we are so very grateful. They all gave stimulating and thought provoking talks!
Please advise us of good speakers and contact details for future talks.
2. We plan to apply for charitable status
3. We now need to roll out PALZ UK across the UK! Indeed in Shropshire it would be helpful, in view of the size of the County, to have groups in other places within Shropshire. For that we do need enthusiastic leaders to come forward.
I would be disappointed if, throughout 2019, we do not develop other groups to provide the same stimulation as that which the Shrewsbury group is providing.
To this end I had hoped for help from the National Alzheimer’s association. This is not forthcoming, so I will look in 2019 to contact all lawyer members of Solicitors for the Elderly throughout the UK for suggestions in their areas. I will also use radio as a way of informing the public of the benefit of PALZ and seeking new facilitators.
Hopefully, our Medical Director’s links and the excellent support from Social Services here will lead to a dissemination of information about PALZ UK and a desire to have groups in other areas. If any of you receiving this email have any ideas, suggestions or indeed UK wide contacts, please do let us know.
Please do come to a meeting at any time to see what it is all about and to hear from participants what they think of it.
Thank you finally, but most importantly to the committee for huge help and support to PALZ.
Chair PALZ UK
Regional Coordinator Shropshire SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly)