Former postman Richard Bover was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia at the age of 59 - several years after his symptoms first began. His wife Tina says these years pre-diagnosis were the hardest for the couple, when they both knew something was seriously wrong but no-one took their concerns seriously. It was not until Alzheimer's Support came along that things settled down and the Bovers found a routine that worked for them both. 

Today Richard experiences the visual disturbances and memory lapses typical of someone with Lewy Body dementia, but he is very sociable and creative, retains a wicked sense of humour and keen desire to enjoy life to the full.

Attending Alzheimer’s Support’s Sidmouth Street club in Devizes every Tuesday is now one of the highlights of his week. 

One of his favourite activities at the club is Scrabble, and he has found a worthy opponent in Alzheimer's Support's patron and club regular volunteer Lady Lansdowne, who shares his passions for the game.  She said: “My grandmother suffered with Alzheimer’s in the 1960s and it was such a traumatic thing for an eight-year-old to witness.  In those days it was a little understood disease and I remember my grandmother being locked away. She died when she was only 62. Sidmouth Street could not be more different. The day clubs in Devizes and Trowbridge are two of the jolliest places I know.

“As a keen Scrabble player I was thrilled to discover how word games help members like Richard.  I find it so interesting that someone with early-onset dementia can not only play Scrabble, but play it  incredibly well when other things might elude him.”

Richard’s wife Tina said: “We have always played Scrabble at home and it’s something he can still do alright. He absolutely loves the games with Lady Lansdowne. They have a real rapport and get along so well. They talk about everything and he enjoys her stories and hearing about what she is up to.”

Richard said: “We always have a laugh. I usually win and I like to beat her, but now and again I do let her win."

Richard and Tina are founder members of Alzheimer’s Support’s art club in Pewsey and the walls of their home are filled with artwork that they have both created there. They also attend Singing for the Brain groups in both Lockeridge and Seend (where they pictured below with facilitator Frankie Simpkins). Support workers accompany Richard on outings twice a week, meaning that the charity provides respite or activities for the couple five days a week.

Tina said: “Alzheimer’s Support has definitely made a difference to how I can cope.  I do not think I would have managed without them. Richard loves all the activities and for me, it is the support as well at the groups we attend together. There is always such a lovely atmosphere, you can chat, no-one judges you and they understand what it can be like.”