Mental Health Awareness Shabbat

January 20th, 2020


Mental Health Awareness Shabbat UK – 31 January 2020

Focus on Dementia

Belsize Square Synagogue is unusual from other congregations in numerous ways, but we are distinguished by having more people over the age of 100 than any other London shul. Longevity and good health are enjoyed by the majority of our older members who defy the odds and embrace life with fierce independence and a passionate interest in friends, family, politics and in some cases Bridge.

But we are no different from many other congregations or the national statistics when it comes to a bump in the baby boom generation and a significant and exponential increase in our membership over the age of 70. Thankfully, 70 may be the new 50, but our 70-something generation tends to be busy looking after grandchildren and older parents and in-laws.  We have a growing number of people that are delivering “care” for friends and family – younger and older.

Eve Hersov, our Community Care Co-ordinator reports that about 20% of our older members have some form of dementia, and she has a tendency to be involved across the generations at certain key points with this disease. Dementia has a huge impact on families first at diagnosis and then later when support needs may increase.

The Social Action – Tikkun Olam Committee wants to raise community awareness of this important issue and are hosting a Mental Health Awareness Shabbat on Friday evening 31 January. Eve will speak about her work, will be available after the service, and there will be materials made available for people to take home. Please join us and learn a few pointers about improving communication and comfort of our friends and relations who need our support.