When people are living with Alzheimer’s, sometimes one of the most devastating parts for them is watching everything they knew and loved about their live slipping away. That can include their memories, and their ability to do their job and live on their own.
When Doron Salomon’s mum was already living with Alzheimer’s for years, she was allowed to stay working at her supermarket job for five additional years, and according to her son, that made a huge impact on her life, and how long she was able to keep a part of herself going even as the disease progressed.
Doron Salomon tweeted on Sunday that his 61-year-old mum was even offered regular retraining and support to ensure she could carry on.
Salomon told BuzzFeed News that this had a huge benefit as even her personality started to change.
“It just gave her a real sense of purpose. It normalised her. A lot of her friends have jobs and go to work and the fact she was doing something similar made her feel like a normal person,” he said.
“One of the things with Alzheimer’s is that you lose your social skills quite quickly and you can’t join in conversations, but when it comes to her job she could talk at length about it.”
Salomon’s mom was a former book-keeper was hired as a picker, part of the team who put together online delivery orders. This role eventually changed to cleaning the boxes that the orders went out in.
“It sounds daft but the roles she was given were very basic, particularly the most recent one – but to her they became the most important things that anyone could do,” Salomon said.
She would often arrive at the store confused, but Salomon said the store always made sure she was looked after. The company also changed her hours to better fit with her sleep pattern.
In a statement, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Doron’s mum was a much loved colleague and an inspiration to all of us. We’d like to thank her for her years of service and wish her all the best for the future.”
“We just felt that over the years Sainsbury’s have really gone above and beyond what you’d expect, firstly from an employer and secondly from what is quite a big corporation,” Salomon said.
If someone’s live is changing, whether from environmental factors or illness, it’s always helpful for them to give some normalcy to hold onto — and it sounds like the employees at Sainsbury’s went above and beyond to support their fellow comrade.
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