Friday Focus - Our New Website
Meeting Website Success - The Team Behind Our New Website
Over the past 5 months, we have been working with the Chichester-based company, Website Success to overhaul our old website and create a new, more dementia-friendly one.
As part of our website launch day on the 23rd of April, Luke virtually sat down with some of the team that had worked on our website to talk about the creative process, how it was developed, and they spoke candidly of their experiences of dementia previous to working with us.
Website Success' Experience of Dementia
Dan, the creative director at Website Success (he describes his role as making everything look nice and pretty) spoke about his grandad.
I thought I don't think I have and then I remembered my grandad. It was such a shocking experience for me, my granddad he was always full of life and cracking jokes. And just out of the blue, for me anyway, on this one occasion, he was telling us this story and we sort of all chuckled. And then five minutes later, he told us the story again, exactly the same. I was waiting for that little sort of sideways smile and wink from him, you know, like, this is some kind of joke, and nothing. And then, and then about five minutes later, he said it for a third time. For me, I was I wasn't really sure what was going on. But I obviously knew that it was something to do with his memory. And it was quite shocking, distressing, and odd. frightening, would be a word I'd use. I was quite frightened. Because this wasn't my granddad this was like, Hey, what's going on here? This is this isn't the man that I know and love. But the other thing that really struck me was how little I knew about it, and no one told me. It was just he had dementia... And it's really only since been involved in this project that I've really got to understand about dementia. So that's my story.
Beth, the head of digital marketing told us about her great aunt and uncle.
Yes. So my great aunt and uncle both have dementia. I'm not sure what type. But basically, they started getting worse and worse over the years and they were still living at home in their little house in Surrey, where they've always lived. The neighbours kept ringing my mom being like, well, they're doing this today, the ambulances here again. And so yeah, we went down and saw them and realised how much they'd both deteriorated and that's quite sad. They didn't know who I was anymore. They know me as little Bethan that run around the house, you know six years old and paint pictures in their garden and they used to take us to like feed the ducks and all of the usual stuff. But we're very close family. But I yeah, just didn't know what was going on. It was really hard listening to them speak and repeat themselves over and over. And you having to answer them the same with the same response, but you're trying not to get like wound up with it because they don't know they've genuinely forgot. And I didn't know what it was I didn't know where to search for it or what I could do to help them or help them to remember me. So they're in care now, full Time care in a care home in Eastbourne. But I'm hoping we will get to go and see them again this year, but we haven't for about two years because of the COVID situation.
Finally, Louise, the strategist for Website Success, told us about her grandmother.
I have a similar story. My grandmother was a very old grandmother and she had my mum quite late in her life. I was an impatient child and I got irritated by her repetitive querying and questioning. But she had ,what I know in hindsight, was dementia. She used to say things like... I was about to go into her German accent, I won't do that. She used to say "Do they have chairs in your school Louise?" And of course, my brother and I like *huffs*. Already now, now I know a little bit more, Luke, partly thanks to you teaching us. But, I realised it wasn't actually just a memory thing; it was also a disconnect with current life reality, maybe the areas of history etc. And so I yeah, for me, it was just knowing there was something wrong with Granny, I didn't really understand what or why or how, and certainly as children didn't have patience with it. So I think we, I fear, we were a bit cruel, in hindsight. But yeah, so we do all of us in the office actually discussed this, and we have all got a story.
We want to thank Website Success again for all their hard work on the website, and then for being so open with us about their experiences with dementia. If you would like to share your experience of dementia with us, you can by emailing us.