Hilda is 76 and has been using the centre for 7 months, since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in November 2015. She retired at the age of 70 working as a Night Sister on A&E in Burnley having spent 55 years with the NHS. After retiring Hilda moved to Staines, to be close to her family (especially her 2 grandsons, whom she doted on).
In the first half of 2015, her family started to notice a huge change in her; she was suddenly becoming forgetful, not remembering words, and was becoming confused by routine tasks. Hilda's decline in her mental capacity was rapid. After her diagnosis, her family were unsure as which way to turn, with help not easy to find. A friend happened to mention to them about the services at the centre. After their first meeting with Shirley (the centre manager), they felt reassured and suddenly they could see a way forward for Hilda and to help them with her care.
Since attending, the decline in Hilda's mental capacity has dramatically slowed, the centre provides her with a vital social outlet and provides stimulation that her family aren't able to provide during the day. Hilda's son David says:
"The care at the centre is wonderful. When Mum was diagnosed it was if we were caught in a fog, and we did not know which way to turn for the best. Shirley and the team at the Orchard were a real 'rock' to Mum and to us. The progression of her Alzheimer's has slowed down which is due in a large part to the dedicated staff at the Orchard. It has given her more quality time with her grandchildren, and them with her. Thank you to all the team at the Orchard. Your work is vital to Mum (and to us), and we must do everything we can to save this service."