“Pam (on left) and I (on right) really enjoy our One2One sessions once a week! Pam has mixed dementia and has been with Essex Dementia Care for 18 months and I have enjoyed every minute with her. Our relationship is definitely a two way thing as I enjoy Pam’s company and it’s so lovely to be greeted with her beaming smile every time I turn up to meet her! We start off our days with a cuppa and between us sort out where the day will take us. I always ask Pam what she fancies doing or where she would like to go and I’ll always try my best to make it happen. Pam is great company and her sense of humor is just great; she loves having a chat, going shopping, visiting garden centers, going to the zoo and eating out for lunch. Pam often tells me how much she enjoys her days out with me and we have created a photo album of our days out over the last year. Pam also attends our Every Day Counts at Broomfield and loves what Essex Dementia Care provides for her”.
Anne – Dementia Care Practitioner
“As Pam’s daughter, Mum absolutely loves her days out with Anne and her day at the workshop. She considers Anne to be a great friend and always enjoys wonderful days out and invaluable companionship. I had been worried that Mum was becoming socially isolated before Essex Dementia Care, but now she has plenty to look forward to and is much happier and fulfilled as a result. Our entire family is very grateful for Essex Dementia Care to see such a positive change in Mums outlook and approach to her diagnosis. Thank you Essex Dementia Care!”
Sally – Pam’s daughter
“Chris has had Alzheimer’s for 11 years now, however it was only about 5 years ago that we actually got the diagnosis. The waiting time in-between was the hardest part for us as we knew there was something wrong, but just didn’t know what. When we got the diagnosis it was such a relief as it meant financial help for one and also assisted with what support to be looking for. When we started looking around for support, a lot of the clubs/workshops weren’t convenient for us because the timings weren’t right as I work at lunchtimes so I couldn’t take or bring Chris back. However, when we came across Essex Dementia Care it was perfect as it runs from 11am to 4pm, so lunchtime falls within those times. The two days that Chris attends the workshop a week is great as it allows me to get jobs done without leaving him with nothing to do. I tend to use the time to do some gardening, house work and occasionally getting my hair done. Its lovely to be able to complete jobs knowing that he’s well cared for whilst doing them. I’ve definitely built a strong relationship with Essex Dementia Care and after ten years of knowing everyone, I trust them all very much!
During COVID, we’ve been quite lucky living in the countryside and it hasn’t affected us too much! We go on a couple of dog walks a day and still go food shopping for days out. The centres closing was a massive blow and Chris missed it terribly during the first lockdown. By the second lockdown EDC phoned us and offered their One2One service in order for Chris to stay active and still have that relationship with them. Mark mainly came to visit him and we were honoured by Kelly’s presence on one occasion (the Senior Manager of EDC). They would come round to the house and go out with Chris for walks, play quizzes and just chat which Chris absolutely loves doing. Essex Dementia Care stayed in contact with us throughout the whole pandemic and were always updating us on future plans they had about reopening”
– Judith (Chris’ wife)
“Betty was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010 and came across Essex Dementia Care through my next door neighbour – her husband had dementia and she used to take my Mum to some of the days out before we knew she had dementia. When she was at the group, my next door neighbour started seeing signs of dementia and she spoke to a leader at the group and they agreed. This information lead us to getting Mum diagnosed really early and it was down to Essex Dementia Care inviting people to their groups that we got the diagnosis.
Betty started with Essex Dementia Care in 2013 and finished about three years ago due to going into a care home, so was in it for a long time! She attended near enough every group and always looked forward to going every day..the first thing she would say in the morning was “Is it club today?” We would occasionally pop into the centre to see the staff and built quite a strong relationship with them. It was like having a little family and we knew she was safe with them at the centre.
They helped my family by keeping Mum independent and active when we needed time to just switch off, so we didn’t have to worry about Mum for a few hours. It was lovely to know the same people every week were looking after her and we’d always get a little report of how her day went. Whether it be a concern or something she really enjoyed during the workshop, we were always kept up to date.
I remember being in a carpark in town one day with Mum and one of the workers came rushing over and gave her a massive hug! She was so happy to see him and he was so friendly to the both of us. He spoke to her like a person and not a person with dementia, which was so lovey to witness!
I would really recommend anyone living with or knows someone who has dementia to send them to Essex Dementia Care workshops just to help their minds to be at peace. They always went out of their way to ensure all of their clients had as much fun as possible and constantly stimulated their minds, which is fundamental when living with dementia. I really hope the charity continues to support as many people as possible!”
– Pam (Betty’s daughter)
“I’ve spent all my life with the NHS as a midwife! I married my husband, Jim, in 1963 – he was in the army for quite a long time in the suey’s and he used to load the stuff on the ship for the soldiers on the ground and would ferry them across. When he came back, he worked in asbestos and then rubber. He finally took up his favourite hobby and joined a photography group and even started teaching it in various colleges in Essex. He was great fun and so cheeky!
When Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011, we started looking everywhere for help and had a horrible experience with one dementia charity, I just felt like giving up. My daughter all of a sudden messaged me with a number and said “ring this number!” – it was Essex Dementia Care. I spoke to a manager at their office and she sounded so warm and welcoming. The services they offered were just what we were looking for! He hated going out, especially shopping, but when he started visiting the workshops in 2012 and continued to do so for 7 years, he didn’t complain once. It gave me a chance to do the things that he didn’t enjoy and I would pick him up at the end of the day when everything was done. It was great, I have lovely photographs of him with a safety jacket on sitting on the steps of an air ambulance – that was his favourite day out with EDC.
After his 7 years, he was moved into a care home where he sadly died, however I will never forget what Essex Dementia Care offered us throughout those years.
We attended a number of coffee mornings for dementia and one day I came home and decided I would start doing my own, so I did just that and set them up to raise money for Essex Dementia Care once a year. I have been carrying these out since 2012 in my local chapel and fares to try and spread the word as much as I can about this wonderful charity. I have raised thousands of pounds for them over the years – my daughter would have a cake stall, I would have my craft stall selling anything and everything, another friend would have an antique stall and a couple of friends used to supply the coffee and teas for visitors.
I spent all of this lockdown organising for my next coffee morning which was planned for last October which unfortunately didn’t go ahead due to COVID, however at least I’m prepared for when I’m allowed to do a next one! I will always try and give back as much as I can to Essex Dementia Care for helping my lovely, kind husband”.
– Judith (Jim’s wife)