Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

We'll Carry on Living Our Lives, despite Blow of Diagnosis

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

We'll Carry on Living Our Lives, despite Blow of Diagnosis

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Walker Health Reporter sarah.walker@eveninggazette.co.uk

A LOVING Teesside couple has praised the support they have received from a charity, following a dementia diagnosis they are determined will not stop them living a "reasonable life".

Optimistic Daphne and Peter Hadfield, from Ingleby Barwick, are bravely facing a "new journey together" after Daphne was diagnosed with Alzheimer's just over a year ago. And despite their own battle with the illness, the pair have vowed to support the Alzheimer's Society, praising the support the charity has offered them, as a new initiative to develop dementia friendly communities across Teesside begins to gather speed.

Peter, 68, a retired senior probation officer and assistant chief probation officer, said: "We are on a bit of a journey really, me as a carer and Daphne as a sufferer of Alzheimer's.

"We have decided we might have things to offer the Alzheimer's Society.

"It seems to us that given Daphne's dementia, we shouldn't be wasting energy on what causes it, but we want to be focusing on seeing if we can do something to assist and stay ahead of the game."

Daphne, 72, who is also deaf without her hearing aids and has a hearing dog to help her, added: "My mother had Alzheimer's and was in a care home for about eight years.

"There was hardly anything to offer people with the condition in those days. As long as you're able to help people I think it's quite nice to do that.

"I was a Samaritan for a long time and would help people by listening to their problems.

"I can continue to do that. I do feel you can continue to live a reasonable life with Alzheimer's."

With planning, Peter and Daphne have recently been able to enjoy a trip to Spain and have volunteered at a Darlington cafe welcoming people with Alzheimer's, started by a clinic for sufferers.The couple has been involved in sharing their own experience with other sufferers and their carers at the cafe.

They now want to see more similar facilities developed on Teesside that they may be able to continue to assist with in future.

Peter is pleased this is also one of the aims of the Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friendly Communities initiative. …

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