Rosalind's story: 'Despite the dementia, my mum still had spirit.'

72-year old Rosalind has been an Alzheimer's Society volunteer for more than 20 years. This year, Rosalind took the plunge with a forget-me-not tattoo in memory of her late mum.

It was on my mum's 80th birthday that I noticed a difference in her. I instinctively knew it was dementia. My mum did not recognise a member of the family; someone she knew well and someone she saw a lot of.

I got in touch with social services and they came to see my mum and assessed her.  

When asked where she lives, my mum replied, "Here, of course!" This made me smile as despite the dementia, my mum still had spirit.

I went along to all of my mum’s appointments. I was with her when she got the diagnosis.

Then the work started. We had to ‘granny proof’ not just my parent’s home but my home as well.  

Taking the key out of the bathroom door lock was essential. We didn’t want her to lock herself in the bathroom again!

Rosalind's mum Eileen

My mum managed to live well at home for about 18 months, but then it became too much for my dad.

I had to make the tough decision and move her into a care home. I would visit regularly and take my mum out for walks.

She'd love it when we bumped into children, always loving to say hello and find out what they were up to.

She continued to take pride in her grandchildren and her great grandchildren.

Rosalind's parents with grandchild

Helping in the community

After my mum passed away in 1996, I decided to become a volunteer for Alzheimer’s Society at my local Worthing Branch.

I have been helping out at events such as collections, fetes, fayres ever since. I've also organised many of my own events. I enjoy both fundraising and raising awareness.

I visit the dementia unit at the local nursing home. I bring along my pet therapy boxer dog, Brandy.  I love seeing the faces of the people on the dementia unit when they see her.

I also take my great-granddaughter, who is three and a half, along to visit as well. We spend time with the residents drawing and painting.

I feel it is important for young children to understand about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

New tattoo

So why a tattoo and why wait so long? I admit I am not good with pain! 

It wasn’t until I met my local tattoo artist, who promised it wouldn’t hurt that much, that I decided to take the plunge.

I got the tattoo. And now I'm a cool grandma!

Rosalind's tattoo

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3 comments

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Rosalind, what you do is just fantastic and I love the tattoo, thank you for all you do.

Well done you Rosalind ! It’s a fitting visual reminder to us all about the great volunteer work going on & of those we've lost to the Big D as my diagnosed Dad & I refer to it as! 😉

Such a fitting and beautiful
tribute to your Mum ... how lovely of you to have a tattoo of the forget-me-not flower Rosalind and wonderful also to learn you have been a volunteer for 20years 🙏🏻😍I too am a volunteer at our local Dementia Group ... my Mum has recently celebrated her 92bd birthday and pleased to say although she struggles with mobility issues she is still very sharp in mind🙏🏻Her late elder sister, my Aunty Irene, suffered with dementia for several years ... has now sadly passed away ... by involving myself I experience not only the many challenges of D those suffering from it face, but too the rewards of helping those who battle daily with this terrible condition. Love&Peace Wendy

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