Paula Storer, from Nottingham, has been using her Much Loved Remembrance Page to pay tribute to her Dad, Terry Berresford, and raise funds for Dementia UK’s specialist Admiral Nurses, in his memory:
My dad was very fit, healthy and active during his life, a keen sportsman, he played for and managed a local league football team and played cricket for the same team for over 50 years.
Dad became a widow when I was 13, and never remarried, so as an only child we enjoyed a strong relationship. Later, he doted on my daughter Rosie, his only grandchild, taking her on day trips to show her off – he was so proud of her.
Getting a diagnosis
Shortly after his 80th birthday I noticed changes in dad’s short term memory – he struggled to get to grips with anything new. I arranged for him to have Sky Sports, but he just could not get the hang of how to use the remote control, no matter how many times I showed him.
Dad was referred to a memory clinic, an appointment that sadly never materialised. He suffered a fall at home, was delirious and admitted to hospital for nine weeks. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia and never walked again.
Changes in behaviour
I had no experience of dementia and found it difficult to see dad with the condition. He was a different person; physically aggressive and accusational. I did not know how to handle him, and as time went on and he moved into a nursing home I accepted that things would not get better.
At this time I turned to the wealth of information and resources provided by the Dementia UK website; I gained a much better understanding and discovered Admiral Nurses. I am immensely grateful to the Admiral Nurses who I spoke to on the Helpline and contacted via email when I was struggling to cope with dad’s condition and behaviour.
Dad passed away at the height of the first wave of Covid 19. I hadn’t been able to visit during lockdown and only saw him briefly a few days before he passed away. Under Government Guidance only ten people were allowed at the funeral, so I decided straightaway that in lieu of flowers I would ask for donations to Dementia UK to support Admiral Nurses.
Creating a Remembrance page
Whilst reading the Dementia UK website to research the best way to do this, I came across an online platform where I was able to create a special memorial website in tribute to my dad. A place where friends and loved ones could share memories, thoughts and stories, add music, photos and videos and even light candles.
Setting up the website was straightforward. I used my remembrance page on my PC and mobile phone and found it very easy to navigate.
I created my tribute ; I found the experience of creating the website to be therapeutic and comforting.
I like that the page will be there forever and that I can go back to it whenever I want, which I do regularly. I get a lot of comfort from looking at the posts, candles and photos. I will continue to add messages on special occasions like birthdays and Father’s Day.
Donating in memory
Much Loved made it very easy for people to make a donation in my dad’s memory. The website has been an invaluable tool in enabling friends and family to make their donation contact-free.
My husband used Facebook to share the link. I also sent out emails and mentioned the page in the local online newspaper obituary. Together we managed to raise £776 for Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurses.
A tribute fund is a brilliant way to support a charity. As funerals are limiting the number of attendees, it is a way for people to express their feelings and condolences and to make a donation to a charity that they know is close to the heart of the bereaved family and know that their donation is going directly to the charity.
Until recently, I’d never seen a tribute page, now I think its’s a wonderful idea. It helped me at the time and continues to do so. In the modern age of technology it serves as a live tool that can be viewed and added to at any time by anyone, as a reminder of how much that person was loved and respected.