The Alzheimer's Society is urging people in Wales to help those living with dementia do something they love this Valentine's Day.
Volunteers from the charity's Side by Side befriending group will be holding information stands across the Principality this Friday (February 14th) in the hope of encouraging more people to support dementia patients in their area.
It is estimated that 44,000 people are currently living with some form of dementia in Wales and many of them experience loneliness and isolation, particularly if those in rural areas.
And the issue is growing, with the number of patients likely to exceed 56,000 by 2021 unless a significant breakthrough in treatment is found.
The Alzheimer's Society's befriending scheme was launched last summer thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund's AdvantAGE programme and allows trained individuals to provide companionship either in person or over the phone.
Since it started, the charity says it has seen an improvement in dementia patients continuing to do things that mean a lot to them, such as cooking, shopping, playing some sports or just chatting.
Trudie Ching, Alzheimer's Society services manager for the Side by Side Befriending project in Wales, said: "Life doesn't stop when a person is diagnosed with dementia. People often still want to do the things they enjoyed doing before, but they might need some extra support.
"This service offers the perfect opportunity for volunteers to help people with dementia to continue to feel a part of their community and to do the things they enjoy."
Volunteers will be on hand this Friday at the Bute Town Community Centre in Cardiff, Llwyncelyn Hall in Llwyncelyn, Ceredigion, the Strand car par in Builth Wells, Swansea Library at the Swansea Civic Centre, Coed y Dinas Garden Centre in Welshpool, Sainsburys in Blackwood and Homebase in Mold.
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