Elaine radiates a sense of fun and possess the same air of mischievousness that her husband Steve for whom she cares so diligently, also displays. Knowing Elaine is to know stoic determination to live and love every moment no matter what life gives.
Elaine is the sole carer for Steve who was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia 6 years ago. Although the path of their lives has taken a dramatic turn, her strength, resilience and refusal to let Dementia define them, has seen Elaine make a life for themselves that positively embraces his Dementia and, with determination, face head on the challenges this life changing condition presents.
Steve is a wonderful, funny, warm and engaging man who requires 24/7 attention. He needs emotional, physical and personal care. All this Elaine gives with love, affection, dedication and concern.
It can be isolating and she has her “down” moments, but Elaine’s enthusiastic approach to life is unwavering and refreshing. Her indomitable spirit, perseverance, compassion, courage and unfailing good humour in the face of adversity is wondrous and humbling.
Her encouragement and constant attention for Steve is inspiring and infectious. She absorbs herself in his care, ensuring his dignity and independence is preserved. Elaine is testament that, with love, commitment and resolve, we can make the most out of difficult situations and most importantly, live well with Dementia.
It is my great pleasure and inordinate privilege to know Elaine and Steve. It is humbling, fun and delightful to be in their presence and Elaine never fails to amaze me with her grace and humour. The joy this remarkable lady finds in things that many of us take for granted is inspirational, motivates me to be a better person and appreciate that all we have at any given moment is whatever the moment holds.
VeganCuckoo’s Nomination for Elaine, her Beautiful, Inside & Out, Friend
I have been Incredibly Privileged to Work with Remarkable People in a support role for more than 20 years. One of those People, is Elaine, who has become a Close and Important Friend to me after meeting her and Steve, her Warm and Funny Husband Steve while working for Young Dementia UK.
I recently Nominated Elaine for an Award and Today, Elaine was Recognised for being the Angel that she is, when she received that “Unpaid Carer” Award at Age UK Oxfordshire’s Dignity in Care Awards, along with many other Wonderful Individuals Going the Extra Mile to Deliver Real Dignity in Care.
The World as we know it could not Exist without these Beautiful Souls. They support the Failing, Heal the Sick, and Inspire Change but move silently through life.
They show Tireless and Dedicated care and are Remarkable Forces for Good in the Lives of the People around them and Especially in the lives of People who need Care and Support. They are an Unstoppable Influence for the Better, making an Exceptional Difference.
People who capture the imagination. People with extraordinary determination and enthusiasm. People who are committed to changing their worlds. People who make us proud. People with no particular natural advantages – and sometimes great burdens – who made the most of what they had and emerged victorious.
Oliver Chittenden, Author of INSPIRE, Courageous People of Our Time.
Elaine, and All the Extraordinary People who received their Awards today, has Compassion, Integrity, Courage, Vision and Commitment and Offers Reassurance and Hope. She also has the Ability to Encourage and Offer Insightful Support to other Carers.
Elaine, like so many People I have met with their Strength, Tenacity and Purpose in the Face of Adversity has embedded in my Soul, the Value of Gratitude. Gratitude for each Day I am Given to make the Most of my Life. For Many People I have met, making the Most of every Moment they have has become the Most Important Aspect of their Lives. Unfortunately for Many, their Path is Irrevocable, and their Future is Uncertain. For them, making the Most of their Journey has become Absolute, because at any Given Moment, all they are Guaranteed of, IS that one Particular Moment.
Enjoy the present moment because it is the future in the making.
I used to spend time with a Delightful Lady who Rarely Failed to make me feel Guilty for the Ungrateful or Unappreciative Thoughts I have occasionally. She Trusts in Our Connection with All Matter, and has an Unshakable Belief that the Universe will Hold her, even when Life presents her with Obstacles and Challenges of all Kinds.
I Witnessed this Phenomenon time and time again! Call it what you will; Luck, Being in the Right Place at the Right Time or Coincidence; whatever it was, Things just have a Habit of Falling into Place for this Spirited and Soulful Being and I Believe it is the strength of her Faith and Positive Outlook which together, DO, Indeed, Conspire to Guarantee that the Universe Protects and Nurtures her. She Finds the Stars in the Darkness and the Silver Lining in the Clouds even though that isn’t Easy in her Life Circumstances. This Attitude to life makes it Possible for her to Lead a More Joyful Existence. Time is Precious, She Doesn’t have time to Waste being Negative, Resentful or Asking “Why Me”.
She Is a Perfect example that Dementia is not just about Dementia, it’s about living positive lives with vitality and creativity. It is about people who are still learning, still growing. Dementia is life changing, not life ending.
Treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time. Remember that time waits for no one. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift… That’s why it’s called the present. After All, we are all walking home to the Great Beyond.
My Amazing and Truly Loved Friend Jac, is my Biggest Inspiration. Although, she is living with Such Life Limiting Conditions, she has an Irrepressible Spirit and Zest for Life. She has Such Extraordinary Determination, Courage and Enthusiasm and Radiates Warmth and Sincerity. She has Enormous Resilience and a Generous Spirit.
Life has thrown Too Many Curveballs at Jac and she carries a great Burden but she makes the Most out of what she has and regardless of all the Knocks, She Continues to Smile even when it is becoming Difficult to Talk or Concentrate for any Sustained Period. I Love her Absolutely and So Very Much and There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. Despite her Debilitating Illness, Jac continues to Live a Life Full of Fight, even though for Jac, Life has been Extremely Unkind. I can usually Find a Reason for Everything, Find the Positive in a Negative Situation, Find the Light in the Darkness, But I Do Find it So Very Devastating and Difficult to Find any of the Above in Jac’s Situation. I Don’t like the Term “Unfair” but Actually, it seems to me that there is No Other Way to Describe Jac’s Illnesses.
Elaine, Jac and So Many Wonderful Men, Women, Young People and Children that I have been Privileged and Honoured to Work Alongside and/or Support are Beautiful, Shining Lights of Love for All People and Humanity. They are Souls that both Inspire and Engender Admiration. They are Bundles of Grit and Determination and a Mixture of Charm and Steel. They Remind me to Show Kindness and Respect Towards Everyone I meet because Everyone is Fighting a Battle we may Nothing About. They have Showed me that when we Care for, and Value People, we can restore their Confidence and Self Worth.
We can all support our Fellow Human beings living by the Values of Humility, Generosity, Kindness, Compassion, Honesty and not being afraid to take a Risk. Practicing Gratitude and Regularly Reflecting on what we are Grateful for brings Perspective, Dissolves Negativity and Grounds us in what is Important.
Perhaps the point of living is not to be placid and happy and untouched by the world, but to be deeply, painfully sensitive to it, and to see its cruelty and savagery for what they are, and accept all this as readily as we accept its beauty. To be touched by it, moved by it, hurt by it even, but not to be indifferent to it.
John Simpson, Foreign Correspondent
If someone is Damaged, Frustrated, Offended or Oppressed, Everyone’s Humanity is Diminished. We must Build a Conscious Relationship with Ourselves, find the Goodness within and act to Support others through the Companions of Human Existence: – Illness, Poverty, Death, Hurt, Desire and Love. Unfortunately, it seems that for too many, their Existence also means Abuse, Violence, Prejudice and Neglect. We Need to Speak up for the Voiceless, Abused, Underprivileged and Undervalued. We Need to Treat even those with whom we Disagree, with Tolerance and Genuine Respect.
There are So Many People Doing So Much Good On, and For Our Precious Planet. I am Continually Inspired to Be a Better Person by All those Friends I have Written about and By So Many Other Change Makers and Activists. Those People who have a way of Viewing and Engaging with the World that offers Connection, Strength and Purpose and who Believe in a Better World, Fighting for it Every Day of their Lives with an Energy and a Zest for Life that feels Exhausting to me! But I won’t stop Striving to Perceive things as they Should be, rather than How they are when It comes to My Energy Levels. I will take that Inspiration and the Drive it Stimulates, on my Mission to be a part of the Social Justice Movement that is Creating communities that are Just, Healthy, Sustainable, Compassionate and Promote Environmental Integrity
I end this Post with a Sobering Quote. A Quote which, itself, needs to be Consigned to the Attic! A Quote which would no longer carry any Truth if we were a More Compassionate, Caring and Kinder World. If We were all Inspired to give a Little More Love to our Neighbours. (Human and Non-Human)
Elderly people’s knowledge, the thing that made them the most revered & listened to social group, is now mostly considered stuff to be stored in the attic
Thommaso Pellizzari, Italian novelist