Photo of an elderly women laughing

Elizabeth Sallis

 

I was born in Wakefield Yorkshire and my first awareness of dementia was in the late 1950s when my grandfather was diagnosed with hardening of the arteries and had vascular dementia. My mother also suffered from dementia in the later part of her life.

 

I trained as a secretary and the next forty years was spent in financial services, working for the same company in various locations. I met my husband, Ian, at work and when he was relocated to London I joined him and we have lived in Hampton ever since. Before leaving Yorkshire, I was President of the Wakefield Branch of Soroptomist International in the year when they celebrated their fiftieth anniversary.

 

On retirement Ian was diagnosed with vascular dementia, but as this was a very early diagnosis we were told to ignore it and get on with life.  We did this and followed Ian’s main passion for travelling.

 

Only in the last few years has Ian been badly affected by dementia and this means that he has to have a lot of support. This has brought back distant memories of having to have the gas supply removed from our house as my grandfather was turning on the gas taps on the cooker.