Today’s session was led by Eleanor.
Eleanor talked about a close friend of her brother’s, who had been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 60. Her husband had recently given up work to support her and they were struggling to deal with the reaction of friends who had deserted them in the months leading up to, and following, her diagnosis earlier this year. Eleanor then read an extract from ‘Somebody I Used to Know’, a book published in February 2018 by Wendy Mitchell, who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2015 at the age of 58. It was the second moving account Eleanor had read from Wendy’s book, in which Wendy spoke of the reactions of some of her friends to her illness: a neighbour who had crossed the road when he saw her in her front garden, unanswered emails and friends who no longer sent birthday or Christmas cards. Wendy is the first person to have written a book about her experience of living with dementia and some of our carers expressed surprise that she has such a clear insight into her condition.
By popular request, we then played two games of card bingo called by Eleanor and David, our volunteer who has just qualified as a doctor.
We finished with a general knowledge quiz. As always, we had some fiercely competitive contestants whose wide-ranging knowledge is extremely impressive. It is always pleasing to see so many members and carers joining in!
My thanks to our volunteers, Melvyn, Eva and David, without whose help we could not have run the session and to everyone who made teas and coffees and cleared up afterwards. Eva is now taking a well-deserved holiday until September and we hope she will be back with us at the start of next term if her college timetable permits. David starts his first job at a local hospital on 23 July and we wish him good luck!