Joseph and Pamela’s story
Joseph Spencer from Bamber Bridge in Lancashire supported the Alzheimer’s Society’s appeal in May by wearing his Forget Me Not badge and is encouraging others to fundraise to help provide life-changing support for people living with dementia.
Joseph showed his support for the appeal in celebration of his wife Pamela (76) who has Alzheimer’s. Joseph and his family suspected Pamela had Alzheimer’s around ten years ago but was diagnosed in January 2018.
After a fall when they were at the Spanish music festival Benicàssim, doctors at their home surgery suggested she also have a brain scan as things didn’t seem right. After six weeks of waiting, the scan confirmed Pamela’s diagnosis. Joseph cared for Pamela at home initially, but it put a lot of stress on him, so he and the family made the decision to put Pamela in a care home.
To keep their special memories alive Joseph, who is has been a builder for 50 years, has built a log cabin and summer house for Pamela in the style of their cabin from a Canadian holiday they had.
He has also carved wooden bear statues which are in their garden. They are named ‘Pam’s Rocking Grizzlies’ as Joe and Pam have always shared the love for rock and roll. This is to help her remember these memories for when she comes back and visits three times a week with the with support of a carer. He has been raising money for Alzheimer’s Society by having a donation box in the garden that the general public can donate into.
Joseph says: “I built the summer cabin to give a relaxing place for Pam to sit when she is home next to the pond. I’m proud to be wearing my Forget Me Not badge in honour of people like my wife Pamela who are living with dementia. The purpose of the bears was to represent Pam’s love for photography during our trips to Canada. It brought us in close contact with bears.
“I am proud to be supporting Alzheimer’s Society’s Forget Me Not appeal. It will hopefully help raise awareness and funds for the much needed support and research for dementia.”
Forget Me Not Appeal
The charity’s Forget Me Not Appeal ran throughout May which aimed to not only raise vital funds for the charity, but to send a message to everyone affected by dementia that they have not been forgotten.
“There are over 17,000 people living with dementia in Lancashire and too many are facing it alone. In May, Alzheimer’s Society asked people to wear a Forget Me Not badge in honour of someone special and help people living with dementia get the life-changing support they need.
“By wearing a badge and supporting Alzheimer’s Society’s Forget Me Not Appeal, we’re showing people affected by dementia that we understand and stand with them.
“Alzheimer’s Society’s services are a lifeline and have been used over four and half million times in the last year. We support people living with dementia and their families through some of the hardest and most frightening times.” – Amanda Boult (local services manager, Lancashire, Alzheimer’s Society)
There are a still a variety of ways to get involved:
- Buy and wear a Forget Me Not Badge
- Become a Dementia Friend and learn how to help people living with dementia in your community
- Leave a message on the Alzheimer’s Society’s dedication page here in honour of a loved one. Or share your memories on your own social media feeds using the hashtag #ForgetMeNotAppeal
As well as fundraising during the month, Alzheimer’s Society also led Dementia Action Week from 15-21 May, which focused on diagnosis and encouraging people experiencing dementia symptoms to seek help.