David and Karen’s Story: World Alzheimer’s Day

David and Karen’s Story: World Alzheimer’s Day Image

“You don’t know how much it means for us to have a session like Molineux Memories.”

The words of Karen, carer for her husband David, with whom she attends the weekly sessions for people with dementia.

Molineux Memories is a group delivered by Wolves Foundation in partnership with the Black Country NHS Foundation’s OATS (Older Adult Therapeutic Service) programme, and has now been in operation for approximately eight years.

They cover a variety of topics at the sessions including open discussions, going through the Molineux Memories box filled with Wolves memorabilia, stadium tours and museum visits and welcoming former players.

Today (21 September) is World Alzheimer’s day, a global opportunity to raise awareness around, educate, encourage support of and demystify dementia. 

Dementia affects memory, other cognitive functions, and the ability to perform everyday tasks. The World Health Organisation says Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, causing 60-70% of all cases.

“I remember reading about Molineux Memories and dropping the Foundation an email as I thought it was something that David would love to come to,” says Karen.

“They said we could come along on the following Thursday, and I think we have only missed one session since.

“For the first few weeks, David wasn’t aware what it was that he was coming along to, but now it’s day of the week that he really looks forward to.

“He knows that he can come to the group and chat to everyone and just enjoy each other’s company.”

That sentiment is one which is most definitely echoed by David.

“I’m not being derogatory to Karen at all, but it’s nice to get in a group of people and have a chat,” he explains.

“I worked with a group of men for 50 years and I do miss it, so coming to Molineux Memories is something which really helps me.

“There is always so much going on, and it’s a great time to be involved.”

Molineux Memories is designed in such a way that people with similar interests attend sessions which they can enjoy in a friendly and social atmosphere.

“It’s good that they mix up the sessions, and it’s not doing the same thing every week,” adds Karen.

“They do the discussions and quizzes and just in talking to other people who were at Wolves matches during the same era, it stimulates David’s memory.

“You don’t know how much it means for us to have a session like Molineux Memories.”

There was a particularly special Molineux Memories session, when first team players paid a visit and led the participants in a game of player-related bingo.

Just for good measure, David and Karen actually won a prize!

“It was brilliant to have that interaction with the players,” added David, who also got the opportunity to congratulate Matheus Cunha on his first Wolves goal.

Megan Walters, senior health officer with Wolves Foundation, adds:  “Molineux Memories continues to be a really important project in providing a space for people with dementia to get together and enjoy different activities and share experiences.

“The group has developed into its own little community, and the lovely words of Karen and David really bring home the impact which Molineux Memories can have.

“Their story is shared by so many others who have also said the same about the positive difference it has brought to their lives.

“Welcoming the players to a session was a particular highlight, and one which provided so much fun and entertainment to all of our participants.” 

"Of course it’s so important to give back to the community and Wolverhampton as a whole. It's great to be here and to show our support."

Maximilian Kilman | Wolves Captain and Foundation Ambassador

"As a lifelong Wolves fan, to represent the Club and Foundation is something I'll cherish forever."

Daz James | Wolves Disability FC

"Without Wolves Foundation I wouldn't be here today, that's for certain."

John Martin | Head 4 Health participant

"It is amazing to be out there meeting people and having some fun. It is really important for Wolves to have this connection with the fans and to see the happiness in their faces."

Toti Gomes | Wolves Defender

"Savannah absolutely loves the group. The staff are committed to making every single session fun and welcoming."

Natasha | Healthy Goals parent

"It’s special because it's my club and I’m so proud to be from Wolves as well. I can see the projects and all the work Wolves Foundation are doing and I know it makes such an impact, so to even be a little part of that and to help out where I can – it's so exciting."

Amber Sandhu | Broadcaster and Foundation Ambassador

"It’s huge for the school, I can’t speak highly enough of Wolves Foundation and the opportunities that they give us."

Mr Robinson | Woodsetton School

“I think all football clubs should be the beating heart of their communities and Wolves, through the Foundation, manages to do that."

Johnny Phillips | Sky Sports Presenter and Foundation Ambassador

"We get loads of different opportunities with a Premier League club. I feel really privileged to be a part of it."

Mustafa | Football & Education College Academy student

"Frank has Alzheimer’s Disease and when he was first diagnosed we felt lost and alone. Attending Molineux Memories is a lifeline for both of us; it is run by friendly, committed staff who ensure that everyone is included and enjoys themselves."

Frank and Alison | Molineux Memories

"To come here and be hands on with the kids is unreal. Working with Wolves and the Foundation is a blessing and I'm honoured. It feels surreal sometimes but it's the best feeling."

S-X | Music Producer and Foundation Ambassador

"It's good to give back what you got. Football and the Wolves Foundation help me, so I like to help the community."

Taye | Premier League Kicks

"Wolves is a fantastic football club, and they’re excelling off the pitch as well with all the brilliant community work that the Foundation does. The passion of the coaches and the opportunities to play are amazing."

Jack Rutter | Former Great Britain Paralympian and Foundation Ambassador

"Wolves has definitely helped my personal development, but now also helps me to develop people I work with. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the opportunities Wolves Foundation have given me."

Carl Ackasovs | Wolves Foundation

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