Sadie and Andy are Reading Friends at Owen Mor Care Centre in Derry/Londonderry. The centre specialises in the care of people living with dementia. Before moving into Owen Mor, Sadie lived at home with her husband, Andy, who was her carer. They both now take part in Reading Friends group sessions, every Monday afternoon. This is their story. 

It’s not just all me all the time, everyone else is involved

Dementia is a progressive illness and Sadie has stopped talking. It is hard for Andy to know if Sadie still enjoys Reading Friends, but it seems like she does. Andy can see that Sadie sits back and relaxes while the group reads and chats. 

“I get a lot out of it, I do. I enjoy hearing different people’s views and different things they’re saying and picking up things and learning too. That would have been the same for Sadie too, at the start.”

Andy

I find that it’s nice to hear about other people’s lives and experiences in the group, “It’s not just all me all the time, everyone else is involved. I like the way it’s put over. That can be very interesting. And finishing off with a poem, I enjoy that.” 

Sharing personal histories

Recently, we have been reading some local history in the group, and one of our sessions was on Craigavon Bridge. The bridge is a double-decker road bridge across the River Foyle in Derry/Londonderry that opened in 1933. A little while after the bridge opened, there was a fire in the City on 19 July 1933. The same day that Sadie was born.

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