Keith and Rosey Creamer
Keith uses our dementia support services. He attends our Conversation Cafe, lunch and activities groups, which are run by Aylsham & district Care Trust (ACT) using the principles of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST). These are just a few of the caring services offered by ACT for those living with Dementia or cognitive impairment.
Keith and Rosey met while they were both working at Norwich Union, now Aviva. With two children, each from previous marriages they have both enjoyed active lives. Keith took part in national cross country running championships and was a keen amateur footballer and cricketer, proud to become a physiotherapy assistant for Norwich City FC between 1992 and 2008.
Keith was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2002 and in 2009 the couple moved to Aylsham from Norwich, Rosey took early retirement six years ago to look after Keith. 'Keith has been a wonderful husband and step-father' says Rosey 'he has always been a very kind and popular person' .The twinkle in his eye and his zest for life is clear for all to see as he shares his life experiences with the group.
'Keith has been in a wheelchair for five years now', says Rosey 'attending sessions at the ACT Centre means that I get the chance to meet with friends and run errands without worrying about leaving him. I get time to myself to recharge my batteries'.
Malcolm uses our day service. ‘I look forward to a Thursday. It gives my wife a break, I can get properly showered and clean, and there are always good people to have a mardle with.’
Born in May 1949, he grew up on a small dairy farm in Trunch, like his father and his grandfather before him. Managing a small herd of between 50 and 60 cows, the farm provided milk for local villagers. When he left school he went to work with his father and the farm was turned over to arable. They also bought a neighbouring tenant farm and provided contracting services for other local farmers. It was a busy and physical life.
One cold winter day Malcolm went to wrap the outside taps of a neighbouring house where he met Elaine. Elaine had just moved to the village and her parents were renting the house. In 1970 Malcolm and Elaine were married, they had two children and now have three grandchildren.
In September 2013 Malcolm had had a particularly busy day. He went to lie down to help ease a migraine headache. He had a stroke in his sleep and the damage to his brain means that he is unable to use his left arm and his left leg is very weak. After a week in hospital he spent three months in rehabilitation before coming home just in time for Christmas. Since then Malcolm and Elaine have had to make many changes to their life, leaving the farm to their daughter and son-in-law to run. He has sold their beloved farm house for more suitable accommodation, and they initially had home help to support with washing and changing.
Having made adjustments, the couple now prefer to manage for themselves and Saxon Court was recommended to them by the Social Services team. Malcolm attends every Thursday and Elaine uses the time for herself after dropping him off. He has a supported shower and enjoys a freshly prepared two course hot meal provided by the 5 star rated Orange Blossom café team at ACT. The team are experienced in providing balanced and nutritious food and can accommodate specialist dietry requirements.
‘I do look forward to my Thursday’s,’ says Malcolm. ‘Apart from the food and the wash, it’s something better to do than sitting in front of the television all day; I enjoy the company, meeting my friends and remembering the old times, especially talking about the old war days.’
Suzanne uses our day care service ‘I do like it here. If I didn’t come here I would be sitting at home bored out of my brain.’ Suzanne is very much at home at our day service.
Growing up in Essex she went to standard primary school. By the time she was old enough to attend secondary school it was clear that she would benefit from attending a specialist school which would better suit her learning needs. ‘I needed help with some of my learning, in particular my maths. If I went into a shop I just wouldn’t know whether or not I’ve got the right money. My Mum always used to do this for me.’ The oldest of three sisters, she stayed at her school and moved in with her grandmother in Essex when the other two made the move to Norfolk with their mother and father. When a place became available at Parkside school in Norwich, Suzanne moved back in with her family in Norfolk. She later completed OPEX 1 and 2 at Norwich City College, and to complete her education she attended a preparation for work programme there also.
Suzanne has lived an interesting and varied life, marrying an American citizen called Daniel in 1999. She moved to Chicago where she lived for sixteen years before the marriage ended and she returned to live in North Walsham. ‘I can walk to Saxon Court from my home. It’s great exercise and I can pick up my shopping on the way home’.