12 Apr 2024

Dementia activist hailed ‘national hero’ visits Eastbourne homecare service

A renowned dementia campaigner from Eastbourne visited a local homecare service this week to educate CareGivers on the challenges of living with the condition.

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Chris Maddocks was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in 2016 at the age of 60, and later with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia.

She is an ambassador for several charities, including Alzheimer’s Society, and is a founding member of Sea DEEP, the Eastbourne arm of the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project, which helps connect those living with dementia in the community.

The care team at Right at Home Eastbourne & Bexhill invited Chris to visit their training room and talk about her journey through the health care system, the symptoms she experiences and how her diagnosis has affected her life and relationships.

Ulrica Delaney, Owner of the homecare provider, said the visit proved to be invaluable for her staff, who regularly care for Clients with various types of dementia, presenting at different stages.

“Chris’s humour and empathy, both with people in her situation and healthcare professionals, made a lasting impression on the team and deepened their understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia. This will have a really positive impact on our CareGivers, as well as their Clients,” she said.

Right at Home CareGivers were also given insights into the challenges facing members of the LGBTQ+ community who live with dementia.

Chris co-produced the Alzheimer’s Society’s Bring Dementia Out initiative, which received a People Award for helping LGBTQ+ people access and benefit from dementia services.

Her dedication to raising awareness about the real lived experience of people with dementia has also earned her recognition at prestigious events such as the National Dementia Hero Awards, where she was named a runner-up in the Outstanding Achievement Category, and the National Dementia Care Awards 2022, when she won the Exceptional Contribution Award.

Ulrica added: “Meeting Chris was an invaluable experience for us. A clear and articulate communicator, she described the frustrations and limitations caused by her dementia and answered the long list of questions we had.

“Our office team and CareGivers came away with a deeper understanding of dementia and a new perspective. It’s a miracle we finished only an hour later than planned – we could have spent the whole day with her.”

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