Lily Harris, who is 76 and lives in Wales, speaks about her special relationship with Lucy Davies, one of our dementia support workers.
After my Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2014, I decided that I’d got to find out how to look after myself. I live alone and I can’t be calling on my son all the time, because he works. If you can look after yourself, you’re alright.
I had information given and I went to all these clubs. I was a volunteer at an Alzheimer’s Society film club, and that’s how I met people. I made the tea and I used to wash up the dishes. They let you help – they don’t let you think that you’re thick.
I miss going to the club. I can’t wait to go back when lockdown is over. When you know that you’ve got a group on, you know you’re safe when you go to the place. We have fun and we talk about different things.
I can’t remember meeting Lucy for the first time, she’s always been there. I know if anything came up, I can ring her – and I know, I’ve done it!
What I’ve missed the most during lockdown is seeing Lucy. I miss her visiting because she listens. I do talk, as she knows, because you’re on your own. We have a good talk because I know Lucy. I see her more, really, than anybody.
She still rings me up. She tells me off about not going to the doctors! I did go once, when she said something. She’s brilliant. Speaking to Lucy, it makes you feel there’s somebody there – you’re connected, don’t need to be frightened.
I love talking to Lucy. Sometimes I forget what I’m talking about, but she doesn’t say, ‘Oh, forget it.’
Watch a short video of Lily and Lucy
A phone call means so much to me, because when you’re on your own and you have this lockdown, when the phone’s going you think, ‘Ah somebody remembers me.’ It really is nice to have somebody checking.
To me now, she’s like a daughter that I got lost of – that’s not the right words, is it? But she is like that. It would only be a child of mine, that I would say the things I say to. And I tell her everything.
Lucy makes me feel safe, because sometimes I don’t feel safe. I don’t know what would happen if she wasn’t there.
Nobody realises what dementia is like, unless you’ve had it. When you want to think of something and it won’t come, it’s horrendous. I’ll be honest and say that when I’m indoors, I’m crying a lot and I’m telling myself off. ‘Why are you doing it? Stop feeling sorry for yourself.’
The people at the Society who’ve supported me, I think I wouldn’t be here if they weren’t here. I can’t thank them – and I mean it – I can’t thank them enough.
We need your help
We can’t keep our phone lines open or manage the increase in demand for our services without urgent financial support. Please donate today – with your help, we can show people living with dementia that they aren’t alone.