Alzheimer's Support's Home Support visits all but stopped in the first weeks of lockdown. Six weeks on, with PPE supplies in place, our support workers are back doing what they do best. Here Marie Leggatt, pictured with Peter and Carol, writes about what visiting again means to her and just some of the people she supports.

I am very lucky to have some very special people as my clients.  I would like to introduce two of them individually to you.

John is a gentleman, a man of few words with a smile that says ‘let’s go to our usual place’. Some of you may know this place, Wetherspoons in Devizes, (where the staff have been unfailingly helpful and friendly when we go there).

Unfortunately during these mad times I have not been able to take John to his ‘usual place’, merely spoken to him on the telephone. So, when I got the green light from Sarah Tyler to visit again, I knew what had to be done.

Apparently since the lockdown, John has been sat inside, refusing to go outside into the garden. A plan was hatched that I would sit in the garden with him, at a ‘social distance’, words that have become as familiar as sun in the sky recently, and chat with him. He sat on the bench and there it was, his smile. No ‘usual place’, but cake instead, as a substitute! We spoke about everything and nothing. Just seeing him and his smile was precious. It’s about those ‘simple’ things in life, isn’t it?

Peter is a man who loves to talk; family, friends, pets, holidays. Introduce a topic and he is off and running, with a sense of humour that can have one in stitches. Throughout his conversations, you are transported into a time that holds very precious memories for him. He talks fondly of a ‘mad’ bull who will do anything for Pete, but for others, they’re not so lucky! Pete does not like talking on the telephone, I would be lucky if he said hello’ before he handed me back to his wife. So, when I was invited back to visit, I readily accepted.

When I arrived, Pete was sat outside in their beautiful garden. An opportunity not to be missed; so we both sat in the sunshine, with more cake and he chatted and chatted. Then he drank some of his coffee, then chatted some more. Ate some cake, then you guessed it....chatted some more! 

His wife had expressed concern in his lack of mobility and conversation recently, so for her so see her husband chatting and making drinks, was a gift.

A gift that we, as support workers can give to our clients and their families during our visits with them.

Marie Leggatt, Support Worker North East Wilts