PENSIONERS at a Hampshire care home took part in a virtual tea party that helped fund a dementia helpline.

Linden House in New Street, Lymington, was one of 21 Colten Care establishments which supported Time for a Cuppa Together, a national event organised by Dementia UK.

Colten Care says all staff and residents observed safe distancing as they contributed to the success of the event.

More than a dozen Linden House residents enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea followed by dancing in a room resembling a village hall.

On display was a giant papier mache teapot which pensioners and staff had made earlier in an arts and craft session.

The party proved so successful that the home is looking to hold a similar get-together, Tea on the Terrace, every month.

Resident Trilby Mills said: “We had a lovely afternoon. It was absolutely delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.”

One of the other tea parties was held at another Colten Care home, St Catherine's View in Stanmore Lane, Winchester.

Funds raised by Time for a Cuppa Together will help support Dementia UK’s national helpline, which enables families affected by dementia to access the support of specialist Admiral Nurses.

The helpline has seen a surge in calls during the pandemic, with many carers and people with dementia saying they feel overwhelmed.

Colten Care’s Consultant Admiral Nurse, Adam Smith, said: “Families with a loved one who has dementia need support more than ever during these incredibly challenging and isolating times.

“It was lovely to see our residents and staff get behind the idea of the virtual tea party."

Admiral Nurses work alongside people with dementia and their families, giving people one-to-one support as well as offering expert guidance and practical solutions.

Dementia UK describes the service as a lifeline that helps families live more positively with dementia and face future challenges "with more confidence and less fear".

Dr Hilda Hayo, the charity's chief executive, said: "When normal support networks have closed down, our helpline nurses are imparting invaluable emotional support and practical advice."


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