Dementia R W

Rosemary Westwell

On Tuesday 20th June patients in Heron House, Aria Court Care Home, March, Cambridgeshire, had an unusual visitor.

Colin Harris (Tweed to his friends) and his wife Liz arrived in a 1946 MG sports car. The letters MG stands for Morris Garages. Morris was just one of several independent car makers in Britain making family saloons and light goods vehicles.

Dementia RW

Colin and Liz Harris

Colin says ‘As with all old things, they need a fair amount of TLC and maintenance but that is part and parcel of the attraction .... and it beats watching the tele!’

The visit was organized by Rosemary Westwell whose husband is in the care home. She has been visiting her husband there for his birthday annually arriving in unusual forms of transport for the delight of the staff and some of the patients. Previously Rosemary has flown over the care home in a Cessna, arrived on the back of a Harley Davidson motor bike and in a 1927 Alvis.

Rosemary began doing this to highlight the needs of her husband and others who are suffering from dementia. In the early days of her husband’s illness she had to fight hard for John’s continuing care, needing the services of a lawyer to win her case.

When they won their appeal, Rosemary decided to go public and wrote a novel ‘John Dementia and Me’ which is based on her relationship with her husband John as he gradually succumbed to frontal lobe dementia and which highlights the problems she had to overcome.

Dementia RW

1946 MG Sports car

Rosemary says ‘Much more needs to be done to support families who have a loved one with the disease. There should be a joined up approach to providing sympathetic and practical assistance immediately after initial diagnosis. It is quite possible with the limited resources that are available, it just needs those in authority to focus primarily on communicating well with those who need their help.’

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