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The Burridge Family Story

Hazel and Arthur have been living and married in West Sussex for 40 years. They enjoyed long careers working in the social care sector. Prior to his career as a social worker, Arthur worked in a fruit and veg market, applying his down-to-earth, smiling, and very chatty personality.

Shortly after beginning his retirement in 2016 Arthur suffered a suspected fit leading to a brain scan that revealed his devastating diagnosis of dementia. Hazel has been his full-time carer now for 6 ½ years supported by friends and family members.

Their children don’t live locally, however their daughter Helen is able to visit weekly, often staying over for a night to help and support her mum. Their grandson Jack is a key figure in Arthur’s life, Arthur had been a professional footballer in his youth and loved taking his grandchildren to games, teaching Jack football, a wonderful, adoring grandfather.

Then, not to forget, Millie the dog, who is everything to Arthur and his family, giving, energy, love, and lots of cuddles.

Following the recommendation of their GP and some friends, Hazel and Helen contacted Dementia Support. Hazel reflects: “I called, and we came to see Sage House. We’ve been made more than welcome for what’s going on with Arthur and it gives me strength really.”

Arthur now attends Day Breaks one day a week.

Hazel says: “We’ve been attending for a couple of months; we didn’t know about Dementia Support before then. This is such a help. If I could wave a magic wand in the mornings, I would. But once he’s here at Sage House, he thoroughly enjoys it. He sings very well, I’m told he’s your resident solo singer, that afternoon the staff said he had sung to them all, their resident solo singer.”

“He doesn’t know what he’s done, which I understand is normal. He’s much calmer when he comes home from here. When I pick him up, he’s just lovely!”

Hazel has a respite day, time with friends, or a day to herself and Arthur has time away which is very important for them both.

Hazel reflects: “It’s sad for us all as Arthur’s not had much of a retirement. Dementia has been a slow process but has got progressively worse and he doesn’t remember much now. As soon as he’s here, Wow, he enjoys it. It’s the making of Arthur and I.

I couldn’t believe Sage House is as nice as it is. But for me it’s the staff more than anything, because they’re exceptionally good, they’re really kind. If I needed more help, I know you are here and that’s brilliant, thank you.

Authur's Daughter, Helen

Helen, reflects: “You lose your husband, partner, and become a carer and it’s a completely different relationship. We’re a very close family and very upset by his diagnosis. I live in London, and I worry so much for my mum as she’s alone down in West Sussex and she finds it incredibly hard. I go down every week. I sometimes stay overnight but always for a full day to support my mum.”

Once Arthur’s at Sage House he’s absolutely fine, thoroughly enjoys it but doesn’t remember what he’s done when he comes out, but you can tell he’s had a fantastic time because he’s very happy. Importantly my mum knows he’s safe there, safe and happy, so she can breathe. And I know he’s so terribly well taken care of there.

Authur's Grandson, Jack

“My grandad comes to Sage House on a Monday and he is in his element at Daybreak as he loves

to talk, a lot!. The benefit for my Nan is huge, she knows he is happy and well cared for. So, she can relax. This helps us not to worry about her quite as much as we would. It is a lovely break for her.”


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