Supported Living: Raymond's story

Living with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease hasn’t stopped Raymond Stephenson from getting out and about in his local community. With his own apartment in the supported housing complex at Sydenham Court, Raymond can enjoy a perfect balance between independent living and reassurance.

Raymond tells his story.

When I get up in the morning the first thing I do is make my bed and run the cleaner over the floor. By the time my support worker comes round to help get my tablets sorted out, I’ve got all my chores done for the day.

And that’s what it’s like in Sydenham Court – while you are still able to do things for yourself, no-one runs around after you, doing it for you. My apartment is my responsibility – I take care of my own money, and do all my own messages.

To be honest, cooking is the one thing I couldn’t be bothered with, and don’t like those ready meals that you can buy. So each day I head out to a local community centre or church for a pensioners lunch. I get a really good three course meal for a few pounds, and no dishes to do afterwards! The best thing is that I used to go to places like Ballymac for my lunch when I lived at home, and even though I have moved to Sydenham Court I am still able to do this.

So it suits me here at the moment.

I suppose part of getting older and being ill is that you become less able to do all the things you used to do. There is a bit of a hill to get up to the main road from here, and the backs of my legs were giving me some trouble trying to get to the shops. Not to be beaten I recently got myself a mobility scooter so that if I need to nip up to the shop for a pint of milk, I can.

There are of course times when you can’t be so independent. In the 3 years I’ve been here, I’ve had a few hospital stays. When I came out of hospital, it was reassuring to know that there was help at hand, should I need it - I just pulled the string, and a member of staff was here in a few minutes, day or night.

The staff are all pretty good and even if there is something about the service that you don’t like, you can go down to the office and talk to them about it. They will always listen and see what they can do to help.
Sydenham Court is all about helping people with dementia continue living as independently as possible for as long as possible. If you are looking for somewhere that the staff do absolutely everything for you, then it probably isn’t for you.

Personally, I’m quite happy here.

Supported Housing for People with Dementia

Sydenham Court has 22 single and 3 double apartments catering specifically for people with dementia.
Supported Housing aims to ensure that each tenant has an opportunity to live as independently as possible within a carefully designed environment where risks are identified and minimised.
Read more about this service


Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia affecting around 417,000 people in the UK.
It is a physical disease of the brain, and is a progressive condition with symptoms becoming worse over time.
As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer's will need more support from those who care for them. Eventually, they will need help with all their daily activities.