Doncaster dementia charity offers helping hand

Eileen Harrington, founder of DonMentia. Picture: Marie Caley D1092MC
Eileen Harrington, founder of DonMentia. Picture: Marie Caley D1092MC

The impact of a dementia diagnosis can be as life changing for family members as it can for the patient.

Eileen Harrington, whose husband Donald died from the disease in 2008, aged 86, knows only too well the pressures placed on carers and family members.

After dealing with the demands of the disease first hand Mrs Harrington, from Scawthorpe, has worked continuously to raise funds and even set up her own charity DonMentia three years ago in a bid to help others.

As well as raising awareness and cash for the cause Mrs Harrington provides practical community support to help those feeling isolated and alone.

DonMentia regularly arranges days out and events for those suffering from dementia and their carers.

The next DonMentia event is a slap up fish and chips meal at Fish Bits on Carr House Road at 12 noon on Saturday.

Mrs Harrington said: “Particularly for people who haven’t got friends and family close by, events like this are very helpful.

“A lot of the services available to people close on a Friday evening and it’s a long time for those who are feeling isolated to wait until Monday morning.

“Events like this are a great way for people to make new friends and build up a social circle.”

Mrs Harrington also helps organise the Doncaster Dementia Forum where guest speakers offer help and advice.

The forum takes place at Forest Gate, within the grounds of Tickhill Road Hospital on the second Wednesday of each month.

She added: “I see it as my duty to try and help other people in a similar situation as I know first hand what 
it’s like.

“Donald was a chartered engineer, very skilled, very practical, a very capable person.

“He started to realise he had a problem when he was reading the paper and he didn’t understand it.

“He would be watching a football game and he wasn’t sure of who was winning. It was upsetting for him because he knew he was failing. After he went downhill he wasn’t really aware but it was upsetting for me and his family.”

Mrs Harrington says the work is even more important as the number of people being diagnosed with dementia continues to increase.

“I think Donald would be proud of the work I’ve done, he’d be up there beaming.”

n Contact DonMentia on 01302 723322.