Deborah’s adored Mum Polly was a happy and vibrant lady who lived life to the full until she died in June 2023. One of her favourite sayings was “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.”
For most of her life, Polly lived in Rhuddlan in North Wales, a place she cherished. She loved to walk the rolling Clwydian hills and the challenging mountains of Eryri National Park (Snowdonia.) Before retiring, Polly enjoyed a career in the NHS as a Lead Phlebotomist.
Sometime around 2017, Polly’s cognition started to change and gradually it became clear she was experiencing more than the normal changes of an aging brain. Following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and with worsening functional and behavioural symptoms, it became apparent that Polly was no longer safe to live alone. Before becoming unwell, Polly had made it clear that she wanted to stay at home and her family were determined to honour her wishes.
Deborah and her husband Bill were living in the USA so purchased a property with room for everyone including Polly’s in-home carers. They navigated the social care system and were able to secure partial funding for Polly’s care through the local authority Direct Payment scheme. This allowed the family to hire an amazing team of carers who provided individual one-on-one care for Polly for the last two years of her life.
Polly was proud and private, so having a dedicated team of carers allowed for individual, loving care. Deborah’s family learned plenty about social and nursing care funding, particularly as it applies to in-home care. They learned how the system isn’t set up to keep people at home. That’s why they’re keen to share Polly’s story.