Julie Preston, Member

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Our store in Colman Road looked out for Julie’s mum, a regular customer who was living with dementia, letting Julie know if things were ok and helping her mum stay in her own home for longer.

Maintaining our independence as we grow older is vital. It helps keep us young and feeling more alive. That’s what the Co-op did for Julie Preston’s mum.

A lively 84 year old, Beryl didn’t want to know she’d been diagnosed with progressive dementia. She’d always been an independent, happy character so daughter Julie wanted to do everything so Mum’s lifestyle could continue as long as possible.

“Mum wanted to live independently so, while keeping an eye on her, we let her do as she wished.

“She would go out for walks and shopping which, initially wasn’t a problem. However as her dementia progressed she began to get more confused and a bit lost.  She had always shopped at our local Co-op and started to go in a few times each day as she felt safe there and everyone was so nice.

“The Co-op colleagues knew who she was and soon accepted that all was not right with Mum. She would repeatedly buy the same items and occasionally wander out without paying. None of this was a problem for any of the Co-op colleagues who were absolutely wonderful. They really looked after her, called me if she needed help and, without a doubt, were responsible for keeping Mum going strong and happy for a good few extra years.

“Mum had to move into residential care last Christmas but still speaks lovingly about ‘her Co-op’. We are all so grateful to the colleagues and thank them for those little acts of kindness that made such a big difference.”

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