Both my husband, who died in October 2018, and my dad who died in February 2021 had dementia. Trying to get the right help and support at the time was difficult, frustrating, and sometimes impossible.
As someone who has spent most of my career working for a charity that provides information and support to families, I realised that if it was that difficult for me to find and access support, with my background and only in my 50s – then how were most people managing?
I opened my first dementia café in Wellesbourne in 2016. I didn’t have a plan to do anything further, but I gradually got more involved in other dementia related committees and projects including becoming an Ambassador for Dementia Carers Count.
Both through my career and my dementia journey I have gained a broad range of skills and knowledge, both relating to the workings of a charity and dementia. Together with my new husband Paul (who also lost his wife to dementia), we are now opening our fourth dementia café – and have supported DCC by sharing our story in the press. I am proud to be able to use my skills in my role as a member of the DCC Carers Advisory Panel.