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Living with Dementia can be a harrowing time for both the person diagnosed with Dementia and their loved ones. Edith is no different. Edith was diagnosed with Dementia in 2012 and this has had a profound effect not only on her life, but also on the lives of her friends and family.

Edith and her husband had been living with Dementia for 2 years when Fred began to struggle with meeting her needs and in the process he was neglecting himself.  Nights would go by where Edith would be up most of the night and Fred would too, he would follow Edith around the house worried she would harm herself. On one occasion Edith left the home her one night, she was missing for 2 hours before a dog walker found her in the local park cold and confused sitting on a bench asking for her mother.

The days became long and exhausting for Fred with no real rest Edith began to get upset and angry in the house and would shout at Fred. He felt he was failing his wife, they both began to lose weight as Fred couldn’t get out to the shops much and when he took Edith she would try to leave Fred and walk off out of the shop. Small things like haircuts and clothes shopping became a thing of the past and the house work became impossible, once a very house proud couple were now living with constant mess the house was becoming unclean and unhygienic.

A neighbour began to worry about the couple and noticed how little they went out and when they did how exhausted Fred looked and how much their appearance had changed.

The neighbour took Fred to the doctors who after deep discussions recommended to the day service at The Bradbury Centre run by Dementia Matters. Fred decided to have a guided tour of the facility. After his tour he decided that he would give it a go. It was hard for him as he’d always been the one Edith had relied upon and now he was seeking outside support.

“Dementia Matters has been a godsend, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our time at home without the care a support that Edith gets throughout the day from her carers,” Fred said.

With Edith using the day centre on a daily basis she has been more active through the day resulting in her sleeping better at night, Fred now has time to not only shop but start cooking nutritious meals again, he is now more rested and even has time to spend with his friends

“It gives me a chance to get things done and have a little rest because it can be hard sometimes. I've managed to get back in touch with friends that I have not seen for years”

Edith has been using the day service now for four years and it is a vital part of her life.

“Edith loves spending time at The Bradbury Centre, she chats to me about what she has been doing throughout the day and it always sounds fun,” Fred added.

The staff at the Centre are able to give Edith the essential care and attention she needs while Fred enjoys some well-earned respite. Edith is assisted with bathing at the Bradbury and has regular hair dresser while there.

It’s a simple fact that advances in medical research mean that people are now living longer than ever before.

With the population ageing however, the number of people who are now affected in some way by Dementia is on the rise. One in four people in the UK are living with Dementia while as many as one in two are indirectly affected by the disease.

At Dementia Matters, we desperately need to expand our services in order to accommodate more people like Edith and Fred who rely on our support to help make life that little bit easier.

We have a huge ambition to open three new day centres for people like Edith where they can enjoy daily activities and entertainment in a safe and welcoming environment under the specialist care of our dedicated staff and Admiral Nurses.

Sourcing premises across the North East to convert into Dementia-friendly day centres and training staff to provide highly tailored, Dementia-specific care to our service users however comes at a cost, which is why we need your help.

We are looking to raise £500,000 to help towards the cost of our new day centres across the North East. These centres will provide much need dementia specific care for those that need it most. Our expansion will allow us to reach those we haven’t been able to in the past and those that have no access to any services like ours.