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Frances' Story

I am determined to be as independent as possible and still like to get out and about. The weekly Remind zoom sessions, and the support I get from their staff is giving me the confidence to still manage.

It was a great shock when the Consultant diagnosed me as having Alzheimer’s in 2018. l thought I was going to the hospital regarding my epilepsy, but looking back now, I can see how I felt and behaved was classic symptoms of Dementia over the previous few years. I was immediately given medication which helped to steady things a bit.

Life has not been the same since then. I live with my husband, Steve, who is my main carer and we have close family nearby. I get angry and upset more easily and am very emotional always. My memory is bizarre as I can remember irrelevant details of long ago but, for instance, can never remember my children’s and grandchildren’s names, and I see them a lot. Long term memory is haphazard.

I keep as independent as I can, but I worry I will lose it soon. I still make the evening meal, but everything takes so long as I can’t concentrate for too long. My short-term memory lets me down the most I think, I go to say a word and it just disappears. It is usually embarrassing and difficult to hold a conversation and social gatherings and even bumping into friends and neighbours is awkward sometimes. Previous activities are not possible or comfortable.

Many doors are closed to people like me, through social ridicule, innocent, ignorance, inability to manage cash, not understanding technology. It is a good thing we have social outlets which are provided by Solent Mind’s dementia service, Remind.

This is the main reason why I really enjoyed the Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) group run by Remind: I felt l belonged. I could talk about the news or play a game without feeling stupid. A good thing too was having a routine, this helps.

I was so disappointed when I was not able to start at the Baptist Church in Cosham because of Covid-19, but I look forward to going as soon as possible. In the meantime, there is the regular Remind envelope dropping on the mat each month with the articles and puzzles to keep me going and in touch; the activity pack helps so much.

Prior to joining the Remind activity group, I only socialised with family. The confidence l took from going to the group and feeling “normal” was very valuable. The activities were good and made you think. I know this sounds silly, but I enjoyed the singing activity so much, l was in the process of joining a small choir. I had not sung since I was about 11, when my teacher told me l sounded like a donkey! I think just coming out of my comfort zone gave me confidence. Doing jigsaws and games were fun and I have carried this on, to try to keep my brain as active as I can. Knowing that Remind’s help and advice is available too is always reassuring.

I am determined to be as independent as possible and still like to get out and about. The weekly Remind zoom sessions, and the support I get from their staff is giving me the confidence to still manage.
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Support and advice for those living with dementia, their carers or family members in Portsmouth.

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