For people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s important family celebrations such as weddings, christenings and other special events can present a unique set of challenges.
For the family of one of the customers at ECL Clacton - Millicents Day Services, making sure she could participate in her granddaughter’s wedding day was incredibly important to them and they turned to the team at the centre for advice on how to make it possible.
Anne has advanced Alzheimer’s related dementia. Her husband is her primary carer but gets a lot of support from their daughter, Lisa in addition to Anne attending our day service.
Lisa approached the Millicent’s team about how to facilitate Anne’s attendance at the wedding, primarily to find out where she could access some one-to-one support for the day. Millicents Service Manager Claire Lee did more than offer advice, she spoke with the service team to see if one of Anne’s Community Care Assistants (CCAs) would be willing to help.
CCA Angela Coare readily agreed to support her on this special day. She has worked closely with Anne since she began attending the service in January and has a good relationship with her. On the day of the wedding Angela went to Anne’s home and helped her to get dressed and ready. She also accompanied Anne to the wedding supporting her throughout the day and making sure she had a front row seat for the ceremony.
Angela said: “It was important to us as a service to help Anne be at her granddaughter’s wedding. I felt privileged to be able to support the family so that they could all enjoy their granddaughter’s magical day. It was really lovely.
“Anne was really happy to get all dressed up and was in a really jolly mood. Anne’s family are very close and before her diagnosis, Anne and her husband were a very sociable couple. It was clear that Anne felt very relaxed in such a sociable setting which was great. She enjoyed every minute of it, she was smiling, greeting everyone, and she loved seeing all of the children, as well as the music and dancing; it was wonderful to see.”
Anne’s family were incredibly grateful to Angela for going above and beyond to make it possible for her to attend the wedding, and Anne’s granddaughter was thrilled to have her grandmother as part of her special day.
Anne’s daughter, Lisa said: “I approached Millicents about additional support for the wedding day as we were concerned about how mum would manage at the wedding. My daughter, Heidi, has a one year old and I knew my hands were going to be quite full in terms of looking after my granddaughter and managing everything else on the day. My daughter really wanted her grandmother there on the day. I asked Claire and Theresa at Millicents for advice on how we could make that happen and I was over the moon when Claire said that the Millicents team could help. It was great because mum knows Angela, she sees her when she visits the centre twice a week so it was ideal for her.
“We agreed that Angela would go to my mum's house and shortly before they needed to leave to help her get ready. Angela took care of the things that that my stepdad wouldn't think of you know like making sure she had her makeup and her fascinator on and was with her for the whole day.
“Mum has always enjoyed a social occasion and she loved it. It was great for her to be a part of it all. I’m not sure she necessarily could have been if Angela hadn’t been able to do that for us so it really meant a lot. It gave us complete piece of mind that mum had someone solely to watch her. It meant that mum could enjoy the day and have the support that she needed and it gave my stepdad the freedom to leave her if he needed to go and greet guests or help with something. It was really lovely of Angela to come and support her. It meant so much to our family.”
For more information about ECL’s Older People Day Services and dementia support visit ecl.org/services/older-people-day-service/dementia-support