A woman was once very organized and good with numbers — Doron Salomon’s mother has worked for a long time as a bookkeeper.
That is, until her early-onset dementia started to drastically affect her memory and her job performance in her 50s.
She then took a job at Sainsbury as an in-store “picker,” putting together orders for online customers.
Sainsbury is a supermarket in the UK.
Almost ten years later, the crippling disease has left her unable to function normally without constant help.
Her dementia has progressed so far that her own doctor said she was unemployable.
Both Salomon and his father did not expect she was to be let go from a job she loved so soon — but it did not happen.
Sainsbury instead continued to retrain her so that she could do her job even when she had trouble remembering how.
They even trained other staff members to know how to help her better. And when she was no longer capable of doing her job — they invented a new and easier one for her.
“They created a role that didn’t exist so that there was something in-store she could do, despite the fact her job title has never changed,” shared Salomon.
Throughout this entire experience, Salomon’s father was called into the store multiple times to try and learn about his wife’s condition so they could help her more as her condition began to deteriorate.
He worried that each time he received a phone call, he was being called into his wife’s workplace to be told she was being let go. But for six long months, Sainsbury continued to employ the “unemployable” woman, as she appeared to adore her job.
Six months after Salomon believes Sainsbury had reasonable cause to let his mother go, she finally had her last day on the job.
“My mum was emotional but relieved,” Salomon says. “Senior management have acted with compassion and handled everything with class and dignity.”
Salomon’s mother was able to have a sense of meaning and dignity in her life even as her disease advanced, thanks to the extra support from Sainsbury.
Early-onset dementia is a heartbreaking and debilitating form of the disease that affects people as young as thirty years old.
Folks were quick to comment on the sweet gesture, saying:
“A positive when so many employers would have dispensed with her services years ago. The manager of the branch deserves real praise.”
“I used to be an online shopper & there were a lot of targets we had to meet. I think its fantastic that in situations such as this they have found a way to keep her in a job where she can feel valuable. Supermarkets are part of the local community & should support where possible.”
“Wow what an amazing thing was so moving reading this good for them well done to any employer that goes that extra mile for someone well done Sainsburys.”
“This is a great story. People with dementia have an important role to play in society. The work of @alzheimerssoc is important in this.”
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