Borough Care is marking World Alzheimer’s Month by celebrating the lives of its inspirational residents who are living with dementia. World Alzheimer’s Month aims to raise awareness of the disease and challenge the stigma that surrounds it. This year, the focus of the campaign is to get people talking about dementia, to help drive change and better support those living with the condition.
Rhonda Rowe, a resident at Borough Care’s Wellcroft home for older people in Gatley, was diagnosed with dementia in 2015. Rhonda used to work for Borough Care, as a carer at its Lisburne Court home in Offerton. Rhonda cared for residents living with dementia and those who needed the additional support of residential care. Despite her own dementia diagnosis, Rhonda continues to enjoy her favourite things, including spending time with her daughter, gardening, listening to Elvis records and watching King Kong movies.
Rhonda and her daughter Gabby Wright have an incredibly close bond and enjoy trips out together. Even after it became apparent Rhonda’s dementia journey had reached the point where she needed 24-hour care, and she became a resident at Wellcroft, Rhonda and Gabby were still able to go out together and experience new things. Both ladies are passionate animal lovers and Rhonda’s dementia hasn’t changed this love. Gabby has taken her mum to a Meerkat Animal Experience at Chester Zoo and last year, during a holiday together in Cornwall, Rhonda got to stroke a penguin for the first time in her life and feed sealions at a sanctuary. Gabby has found the animal experiences have really helped her mum since her dementia diagnosis, bringing out her caring side and helping her find great enjoyment and peace.
Edward Coverley, Activity Lifestyle Facilitator at Borough Care’s Wellcroft, says: “Rhonda lives incredibly positively with her dementia. Her years as a carer at Borough Care are still clear in her interactions with others. Just the other day, a resident with advanced dementia encroached the personal space of another resident; Rhonda instantly recognised these behaviours and how they can cause agitation and distress to those living with dementia. She walked over and gently guided the gentleman away from the other resident to participate in another activity. She is a true inspiration.”
Rhonda’s daughter, Gabby Wright, says: “When my mum was diagnosed, she was scared. She had seen her own mum go through the same thing and she knew what to expect. Now mum is doing what she wants, on her terms, before the condition really takes hold. Just as when I was a child, mum still loves our days out together. There is still so much of this country we want to see and things we want to do together. As soon as we are allowed to travel again, we will do it. Alzheimer’s won’t stop her yet.”
Rhonda is a true inspiration and is proof that with the right help and support people can live well with dementia for many years. Borough Care has over 20 years of experience supporting people with dementia at its eleven homes across Stockport. The company is committed to understanding the uniqueness of the people affected by dementia and the individual support they and their families need.