On Day two of our #WAM2019 #Hello members stories, we are delighted to share the story of one of our members in the UK, Jacqui Bingaham. Thank you Jacqui.
Hello. My Name is Jacqui Bingham and am 66 years of age.
Image source: Jacqui Bingham
I was working at a large Funeral Directors for 12 years and had studied at Bath University for the Foundation in Funeral Science Degree. I was unusually forgetting things and the company gave me disciplinarys instead of support. In 2016 I resigned feeling that I was a liability.
It took a long time for my General Practitioner (GP) to send me to the Memory Clinic. In 2017 I was diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
It was a relief, as know I had an answer. I have learnt strategies to help with reminding me to do things . But as I have depression, anxiety and other long term health conditions I am trying to manage I found I needed more psychological support. This is something I feel is important as we go though the grief process.I find I need to be by own advocate and fight for my needs to be met.I started painting and was asked to do one for an Exhibition. I painted my brains and inside are pieces of a jigsaw and a piece labelled Memory painted in black is replaced by a piece is bright yellow labelled art..and so on. Showing that as I lose parts of my cognitive self so they are being replaced by creativity. (There is a photo of Jacqui's painting, added at the end of her story).I am involved in research and help with End of Life Projects and give short talks.I have applied for a Churchill Fellowship Grant to go to USA to gain inspiration from their Art Therapists who trained in Alzheimer’s Disease. Then to return and inspire others.I get a lot of support from my peers.