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#shareastory for Dementia Action Week: Ron’s Story

20 May 2018

Local News

Written byLisa Cable

#shareastory for Dementia Action Week: Ron’s Story

Ron is an incredible man, with an incredible story.
In his own words…

“My Eileen, my wife – she was always the love of my life. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her.

 queens theatre

A caricature of Ron and his Wife Eileen’s love story.

I was the ship’s cobbler on HMS Attack at Hayling Island in World War II. I was a sailor and when I wasn’t fit for sea, I became the ships cobbler because I could repair shoes.

One day, a beautiful lady came in to have her shoes repaired and I was blown away. It was during the austerity measures of the war and so everyone was on rations. She had a very old and worn pair of shoes and asked me if I could mend them – of course, I did. And from that moment I kept talking about this Wren (Women’s Royal Naval Service) and my friend said to me ‘If you don’t tell her how you feel, I will ask her out for you’. I thought I couldn’t have that, so I finally asked her out. In those days, there wasn’t anywhere you could go out to really, so we just sat and talked all night. She had to be in by 10 pm, which was the strict instructions of the navy.

I came out the Navy in April 1946 and Eileen came out in the June. Eileen lived in Plaistow and I lived in Hackney Wick, which was only a bus ride away. We were engaged, then married in 1948 at the Catholic Church in Upton Park. In 1950 our first daughter was born and we then had another daughter and a son.

I remember one day saying to my wife, ‘Eileen, we’ve been married for 53 years and 5 months and I still love you like the first day’. I still hold the lovely, happy memories and I love her to this day.’ – It would be 70 years of marriage this year if Eileen was still alive.”

What does Ron do now?

Ron still lives in his marital home in Upminster. He has an incredible family who visits regularly and is very close to him – they hold many fond family memories which Ron loves sharing.

Ron also has a wonderful team of carers who visit him mornings, lunch and tea time. This gives Ron a structure to his day and ensures he eats well. Often, the carers will sit and have a cup of tea with Ron and talk about his life, his late wife Eileen and by focusing on his long-term memories, this keeps Ron feeling happy and positive.

lisa ron afternoon tea celebration at tea island

Radfield Home Care Director Lisa Cable with  Ron  having afternoon tea celebration at the Tea Island in Hornchurch

Ron goes to a specialist Dementia day centre twice a week at HOPWA House in Hornchurch, where he is able to socialise and take part in activities from sing-a-longs, dancings, puzzles and games. This supports him to feel part of the community and benefit from interacting with other people.

Ron has always loved to socialise and share his story with others. Ever since the war, he has been an active member of the Royal Naval Association and has been generous in sharing his experiences and inspiring other people.

Ron loves to go out and about and regularly attends events in the local community. He has been to Dementia Friendly performances at the Queen’s Theatre, including the Down Memory Lane event, where he took part in singing and dancing – something he has always enjoyed.

Overall, Ron’s lifestyle is all about ensuring he does the things he loves, surrounded by his supportive family and creating happy moments in his life.

What tools and technology does Ron have in place to support him living at home?

Ron has a couple of things in place that means he can live independently in his own home and gives the family the peace of mind that Ron is safe and well:

  • GPS tracker – Ron loves to go out so by having a GPS tracker on his keys, this means that the family have peace of mind that they know where he is if they can’t get hold of him at home.
  • Pendant alarm – Ron wears this around his neck every day and can press it if he has any issues, this triggers a care line service to kick into operation.

What type of dementia does Ron live with?

Ron has been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, which is the second most common type of Dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Vascular Dementia is caused by a reduced blood supply to the brain due to diseased blood vessels and then can cause problems with memory, thinking or reasoning. Vascular Dementia is estimated to affect around 150,000 people in the UK.

Further information:

The next Dementia Friendly performance at the Queen’s Theatre is Priscilla Queen of the Desert on Thursday 24th May at 1.30pm – find out more and buy tickets here:

For more information on the HOPWA House Dementia specialist day centre:

For more information about GPS trackers for people living with Dementia:

For more information about personal pendant alarms:

For more information about Vascular Dementia:


Lisa Cable

Lisa Cable

Director & Owner

An experienced business manager, Lisa oversees the operations and direction of Radfield Home Care Havering and Romford.

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