When Peter, who lives with dementia, first attended ECL Clacton (Millicents) he was quiet and reserved, but by tapping into his interests of sign writing and music and with the help of some clever digital technology, Millicent's staff were able to encourage Peter to engage and socialise.


“Millicents has been a lifeline for both Peter and I, we both benefit from him going to the day service and it has improved both of our lives.”

Peter lives with his wife, they’ve been married for many years and have two daughters and three grandchildren. Peter lives with advanced dementia, is mostly non-verbal and is cared for by his wife, Sylvia. Peter had a successful career as a sign writer, he painted signs onto company vehicles and missed it when he had to stop.

Peter attends ECL Clacton (Millicents) 5 days a week and requires support with most activities of daily living. Due to the complexity of his condition, caring for Peter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, would be too much for Sylvia without some help and respite, so Millicents continued to support Peter and Sylvia throughout the Covid lockdowns.

Sylvia commented “Millicents has been a lifeline for both Peter and I, we both benefit from him going to the day service and it has improved both of our lives.”

When Peter first attended Millicents he took a while to engage with staff and peers, he was quiet and reserved. However, his love of sign writing was evident, he would look at books of big vans and runs his hands over the writing and say, “I did that”.

The Millicents team introduced Peter to the ‘OMI’ interactive projector which allows Peter to use a virtual paint brush to paint and move objects in the interactive painting programme. This supports Peter to maintain his hand/eye coordination and he smiles and really shows his enjoyment when using it.

Peter’s other passion is dancing and music, he is a big fan of Rock ‘n’ Roll and has come to love participating in the music and FABS (Flexibility, Aerobic, Balance and Strength) sessions at Millicents. Peter will go through the musical instrument box to find his instrument of choice – usually the maracas and will shake them in tune to the music and even sing parts of the songs, smiling and laughing at staff. During these sessions Peter is engaging socially and using his verbal skills, which is a great achievement.

Service Manager at Millicents, Claire Lee commented “it is an absolute pleasure to see how over time Peter has embraced being at Millicents, he has grown to know everyone, likes to get involved and thoroughly enjoys his days with us.”

Get in touch

With 28 centres across Essex, we provide a nurturing environment where you can meet new people, learn new skills and try new things.

Find out more