Couple hail ECL Loughton – Jessop’s Court Day Centre as a ‘lifeline’
Barry, 75, and Julie, 77, from Loughton, Essex have hailed the centre as a ‘lifeline’ of support since Julie’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2020.
The couple, originally from East London, have been married for over fifty years. Three years ago, Julie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and has been attending ECL Loughton – Jessop’s Court Day Centre ever since.
Barry said: “There were instances a few years before when there was confusion, but I just put it down to getting older. But after the scans we got the phone call to say that Julie has Alzheimer's disease.
“I was so shocked, Julie’s always been very sharp, we just didn’t think it would happen to us.
“I look after Julie myself at home, she’s still quite mobile. When she’s having a good day it’s fine, but when Julie has a bad day, I think, ‘oh dear, I'm struggling’. They say it's going to be one of the hardest things you'll ever do in your life, and I think it has proven to be that.”
When Julie was diagnosed, she was referred to ECL Loughton - Jessops Court Day Centre, and she now goes there four days a week. Barry said: “I was worried at first, as I didn’t know how she would be, and if she would settle, but when I walked into ECL I just got this great feeling, and I could tell Julie did too.
“It was like she'd been going down there forever. Straight away she seemed to be at ease, and to me that is worth its weight in gold.”
The team have discovered the thing that makes Julie the happiest, is keeping her busy. Barry says: “We kid on like Julie works at ECL, I help her get ready for her ‘shift’ and walk her to work, she goes in, hangs up her coat and gets going. She’ll help make cups of tea and toasted crumpets, she waters the plants, she’ll set the table ready for lunch and even goes with one of the staff members to the supermarket on Mondays.
“Julie has spent her whole life looking after people, so it makes sense that continuing to do that makes her feel calm and content. The team at ECL are so great at adapting their care to what Julie needs.”
While Julie is happily pottering at ECL, Barry is able to take some time for himself. He said: “When she’s at home, I daren’t even sit down in case I fall asleep, so those four days a week, six hours a day are like a lifeline for me.
“To sit back, and properly relax, with nothing on my mind is priceless. Knowing she’s truly happy and safe takes a weight off like you wouldn’t believe. It's a win-win situation for us, Julie gets something out of it and so do I.
“Without it, the two of us would really struggle. God forbid it ever closes because I don't know what I'll do.”
ECL’s Older People service has day centre locations all over Essex. If you need some support caring for your loved one, we are here for you.
Barry, ECL customer, Julie's husband
I look after Julie myself at home, she’s still quite mobile. When she’s having a good day it’s fine, but when Julie has a bad day, I think, ‘oh dear, I'm struggling’. They say it's going to be one of the hardest things you'll ever do in your life, and I think it has proven to be that.
Please note: We are not able to provide you with embedded media as your cookie preferences do not meet the requirements that our 3rd party services need.
You can either view the media directly by clicking here. Or you can enable Marketing Cookies to view this media directly on the ECL site.
Please note: You must allow all cookies to be able to use the commenting feature on this site.