France and Helen Savarimuthu

Q&A: France Savarimuthu

France Savarimuthu, a 69-year old man in Newport who has dementia with Parkinsonism, answers our questions.

Read this story in Welsh

What would you take to your desert island?

I would take the Bible to read but mostly I would take music. Reggae, soul, Indian music, bhangra, French music – I would take a little of everything.

‘I love music and I’ll never stop listening to new things,’ says France.

I used to write songs and play the harmonium, I did weddings. My mum would wait up until 5am until I came home, to check I was alright. I love music and I’ll never stop listening to new things.

How has Alzheimer’s Society helped you?

My friend Barry takes me out every Friday afternoon as part of Side by Side. I plan where I want to go and he takes me there. He’s very kind and supportive, he’s just a real friend. In a way he has helped me to be the way I was before.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

To when I was helping people as a nurse and at the same time training new nurses. I specialised in infectious disease, learning disabilities and general nursing. There’s something special about being part of generations of nurses and medical professionals, helping people every day through some of their darkest times.

‘I have a wonderful wife and a lovely son – they get me through everything,’ says France.

What is your most treasured possession?

What I’ve been through and the road I’ve taken. If I was still in Mauritius, I’d be heavily involved in politics because I don’t like injustice. I’ve worked in the NHS, oil rigs, steelworks and an airport. I have a wonderful wife and a lovely son – they get me through everything.

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Dementia together magazine: Oct/Nov 19

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Dementia together magazine is for everyone in the dementia movement and anyone affected by the condition.
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I am a retired University Lecturer now aged 82. I have been driving for the last sixty years and kept a clean driving licence for about 60 years. I am also the author of three books and am working on my fourth book. I was foolish enough to allow a doctor's junior assistant to do a memory test which took about ten minutes and my score was 23 out of 30. This was reported to DVLA and on this basis alone DVLA allowed me to drive only for the next eleven months subject I imagine to another highly flawed memory test. What I find difficult to understand is that the memory test has no relevance to driving .whatsoever Driving requires the adherence to common road signs--if the memory test was intended to test driving ability I would be happy to comply. Someone ought to tell DVLA that driving requires adherence to ALL road signs which are usually clearly marked and easily remembered. Having driven for 60 years I do not need a sound memory to adhere to road signs or to alter the speed of my vehicle to comply with other traffic and road signs As a result of DVLA requirements (based on a dubious test only) my consultancy work on ground engineering has had to be curtailed. Fortunately I have a loving wife who drives when necessary to keep DVLA happy

France Savarimuthu is a really inspiring guy! I have had Alzheimer's Disease for 4 years, and find it very difficult to be positive, but brave people like France cheer me up a lot! Best wishes to him and his family.
Martin Corrick

Llandeilo & District Dementia Friendly organised a Big Sing Along on Saturday and we had a collection for the society . I have a chq which i would like to pay to you . also would like some Society collecting boxes to distribute around the area

Hi Edward,
Thanks so much for collecting for us - we hope your Big Sing Along was a big success!
Details of how to make a donation via cheque can be found on our website here:
To order a collection box, the best thing to do would be to get involved with your local community fundraiser. You can find the details listed for South Wales here:…
Hope this is helpful, and thanks again for collecting for us :-)
Alzheimer's Society blog team

My partner has Parkinson’s dementia.
He is on medication for Parkinsons but nothing for the dementia side of things.
Are you on two lots of medication for the two. Help from Doctors in his case is very poor.