Maureen, 78 years-old from Huddersfield, is one of the almost 2,000 people across the country who are taking part in Time for a Cuppa this year. Maureen gives us an insight into her special event and how she raised a fantastic £760 for Dementia UK to provide more Admiral Nurses to support families with dementia.
You can find out more about Time for a Cuppa here.
My dementia journey
“My husband Michael was diagnosed with mixed dementia 5 years ago and I cared for him until he went into a care home in June 2016. Initially when you receive a diagnosis of dementia it seems as though your whole world is falling apart. It is such a lonely place to be. What I found very difficult from the outset was obtaining advice; everything seemed fragmented. I did not know which way to turn.
“At first I didn’t know how to cope but thanks to Katie – my Admiral Nurse and my ‘lifeline’ – I feel I have been able to do the best I can for him.
Vital Admiral Nurses
“During the five years I have been caring for my husband, I have certainly realised that without having a ‘Katie’, a specialist dementia nurse, life would have been even more difficult and emotionally stressful.
“It is vital that Admiral Nurses should be available to all families struggling to care for loved ones living with dementia, from the point of a diagnosis onwards. It would take away so much of the initial stress of not knowing how to obtain the advice and support needed at such an incredibly difficult time.”
Time for a Cuppa
“After the amazing support I had received from Dementia UK I wanted to give something back and support the charity. Having a Time for a Cuppa event seemed an easy and enjoyable way to help.
“I held the tea party at home and during the day had about 70 guests. Friends, neighbours and family came, but also many of the people I had met more recently on my dementia journey. People came from the support groups I had been to, from the home where Michael is and I even had four Admiral Nurses and Sarah from Dementia UK.
“I’ve also set up a Facebook group for carers – we are now 24 people and ‘speak’ everyday about how we are feeling and coping; it’s incredibly supportive. Needless to say some of my Facebook group came too.”
Cakes, cakes, cakes
“I did all the baking myself. I started baking and freezing 3 or 4 weeks in advance and did most of my old fashioned recipes; coffee and walnut cake, seed cake. I baked a chocolate Malteser cake – a big favourite with my great grandchildren – and one of them, Ruby who’s 3 years old, joined us and entertained everyone!
“Michael was always brilliant with his hands and did wood-turning. So, I decided to sell some of the beautiful bowls and ornaments that he’d made over the years. I also set up a cake stall and sold some of the greeting cards that I make.
“It was a really lovely day and I’m delighted to say I raised £760! I know how vital it is to provide funding for Admiral Nurses and really hope this makes a big difference to help another family with dementia…so that they too can have a ‘Katie!’”