Later this month, the Border2Beach team – consisting of four amateur cyclists and good friends – will cover 2 200km, in an effort to raise funds to support the need for more caregivers trained in dementia care.
Globally there are an estimated 50 million people living with dementia – a term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, thinking, behaviour, and the ability to perform everyday tasks – of which Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form.
The team consists of brothers Struan and Lyle Anderson (whose late father Jonathan suffered from dementia), as well as friends Gareth Myles and Simon Clayton. Simon’s father has also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
On August 24, the team will be setting off from Beitbridge on the Zimbabwe-South Africa border, with a plan to arrive in Cape Town by September 7.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and the trip follows a route undertaken by Struan and Lyle’s adventurous father decades before them by bike, at the tender age of 17.
Despite the growing numbers of people affected by dementia, there are still many dangerous misconceptions. This includes the myth that it is a normal part of ageing, or that dementia patients are bewitched or “possessed”.
It is these harmful misunderstandings and stigmas that Border2Beach hope to combat through word-of-mouth, a social media campaign, and specialist training for caregivers.
Livewell Villages – a specialised dementia and Alzheimer’s care facility – has joined the campaign as the title sponsor. Livewell not only specialises in providing personalised dementia care for their residents, but have been pioneers in the dementia care industry since 2010.
They are dedicated to the same ideals as the riders – to raise awareness about dementia across the country, to work with communities, and to ensure that people living with dementia are treated with the care and respect they deserve. Other companies have also kindly pledged support to the riders, including Publicis Groupe and Willard Batteries among others.
Dementia isn’t “just” a difficulty remembering facts; it is a progressive loss of independence, mobility, memory, and even sometimes personality traits. There is no cure and limited treatments, not least of all because dementia patients are mostly unable to advocate for themselves. However, through the personal experiences of the Border2Beach team, they’ve realised that early detection and the need for education around these symptoms can afford a family time to prepare and help combat feelings of stress and guilt.
Additionally, dementia patients do require specialist care. Border2Beach wants to raise R200 000 to support the training of 80 caregivers. Alzheimer’s SA provides this education at a cost of R2 500 per person.
How can you support?
– Show your support: Contribute what you can to the fundraising campaign on BackABuddy, or commit to educating one caregiver for R2500. https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/border2beach-psycle
– Spread the word, and track their progress: Follow them on Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtags #Border2Beach #Border2BeachPsycleTour
Join at the finish line on September 7 on the beach in front of Lagoon Beach Hotel & Spa to welcome the riders back from the end of their journey.
Should you prefer to make a donation via direct bank deposit it can be made into the following bank account:
FNB CHEQUE ACC
Acc no: 62814531209
For more information on the Border2Beach Psycle Tour please visit https://border2beach.co.za/ and to learn more about the signs and symptoms of dementia please visit https://livewell.care/know-10-warning-signs-symptoms-dementia/