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Living with dementia: Ken’s story

Ken was diagnosed with vascular dementia following a stroke in 2015. He began receiving visiting support from our Sheffield branch in 2018 after he fell in the changing rooms following his regular swimming sessions.

“I’ve been going swimming regularly since 2014, but after some time it became a problem. When I got into the changing room, the floor was always wet and the only two chairs available would slip all over the place. When I would try to move from one chair to the other, I would fall because my balance is so poor. One day, my wife Wendy had to come and help me, so she asked at the reception desk if there was anyone they knew who could help me more regularly – and they put us in touch with Helping Hands. We called up to see if there was anybody who could help and, luckily, they were able to help us with exactly what we needed.”


Ken is now able to continue swimming regularly with the support of his carer from our Sheffield team, and they often enjoy a cup of coffee together afterwards.


“I am richly blessed by the people who help me. My carer is terrific; she treats me like one of her children and it’s lovely. There are days where I feel very low, and I think that is part of the dementia. It worries me because you just lose it. You can’t tell what’s happening because you have no past to judge it by. It’s like being adrift at sea, because the landmarks you would hang on to are your memories.  I just have to go on as best as I can – I can’t give up.”

To read about the different types of dementia, please click here.

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