Amanda Botterill and Pam Clough have been lifelong friends. They grew up together from being infants and went to the same schools and shared a passion for dancing and the theatre – often performing together at Yeadon Town Hall in various musical productions. Their parents were good friends, being neighbours in the 60’s and 70’s, they often helped each other through some hard times.
In later life, unfortunately, both Amanda’s mum Margaret and Pam’s dad Eric were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at around the same time, some ten years ago. The girls were struggling to adapt to becoming the main carers of their own parents and there was extraordinarily little support in the community.
One thing that did help was “The Forget Me Not Café” in the area and they attended this regularly for help, guidance and support as well as a safe welcoming environment to attend with their loved ones whose behaviours were becoming more and more challenging. This café only operated once a month and Pam and Amanda agreed that another Café would not go amiss, so they opened the Memory Lane Dementia Café at Yeadon Town Hall and this became well attended by many families/couples who were living with dementia.
This led to the realisation that so many people locally, needed something more for people living with dementia as well as some way of providing respite for their carers. From this was born “Memory Lane Day Centre” which initially helped just a few people each week. But demand grew very quickly and today they provide a care service in Yeadon for up to 20 people each day, Monday to Saturday.
After five years managing the day center, both Pam and Amanda are extremely proud of all they have achieved and feel privileged to be able to help so many in crisis through Dementia.
Pam and Amanda have said that the success is partly to do with the enormous gap in dementia services but mainly because we understand first-hand what people are going through and are therefore able to tailor the care package to suit individual needs.
“Helping people to feel a sense of purpose in their daily lives is crucial to wellbeing for everyone. Dementia brings this need to the fore and the remedy often starts with regular brain stimulation through music and activity. It’s just so rewarding to see our clients going home with great big smiles on their faces!”
Home Sitting Services are now available to people who prefer companionship and care in their own homes. The service is available 24 hours a day over 7 days a week. Regular visits of one hour or more are available by appointment.
One of our trained carers will visit and spend time with a person to try to stimulate the brain through uplifting and meaningful activity. Chaperoning on shopping trips, hospital/GP visits or short walks. Gentle chair-based exercise sessions can take place to help improve mobility, or helping people get connected to others through our Digital Inclusion Programme.
There are daily Zoom meetings on-line for people to take part in our discussions, carer groups, quizzes Bingo, singalongs and more. We can also help with a little light housework or simply be there to cover a carer who needs to go out and can’t leave their loved one alone at home.
Here’s what our client’s loved ones have to say:
“When my dad became housebound and we needed extra help at home for him, Memory Lane came to our rescue. As a family, we just couldn’t be with dad all of the time and they stepped in to fill gaps for us. They kept dad company, playing games, scrabble, dominoes, and things like that. Not only that but they too an interest in getting to know dad and what he had achieved in his life. They helped to feed him and do a bit of tidying up which made it so much easier and gave peace of mind to the family. I can highly recommend Memory Lane for their punctuality, professionalism, and for being truly caring people” – Christine Daughter
“My wife suffers from vascular dementia and cannot be left alone for more than a couple of hours. She has been a regular at Memory Lane Activity Day Centre, Yeadon and looks forward to going each week. The staff there are very helpful, friendly and professional with their care. Nothing is too much trouble. The activities provided are enjoyable and stimulating. The whole atmosphere gives the impression of a large family, where everyone knows each other and no one feels left out. In addition, the centre is set in a large gardened area, ideal for sitting outside in the Summer. From my point of view, it has been a godsend, providing a bit of respite from the day to day caring of a dementia-suffering person. I generally pick my wife up in the afternoon feeling refreshed and knowing that she has been in very safe hands. I would strongly recommend this centre to anyone suffering from dementia.” – Richard Husband