Supermarket Assigns Mom with Dementia a ‘brand-new role’ to Help Her Continue Working

March 16, 2019 Updated: March 20, 2019

The son of a woman suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease has reached out to her employer in gratitude. The British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has stood by Yvonne Salomon during her tough battle against the effects of the disease, which causes the progressive deterioration of memory function and can be devastating to both the sufferer and their loved ones.

Here's Yvonne Salomon's no make up selfie. And of course she's donated!

Doron Salomon 发布于 2014年3月28日周五

Doron Salomon, Yvonne’s son, shared that his mother used to work as a bookmaker, but after her official diagnosis in 2013 she struggled to keep up with the demands of the role. Yvonne was sensitively offered a “lesser-skilled” job at Sainsbury’s Kenton store in Harrow as her capabilities diminished. She became part of the supermarket’s in-store picker team, fulfilling orders for online customers.

Sainsbury’s compassionate decision to move Yvonne, as opposed to dismissing her, regenerated her sense of “self-worth and pride,” Doron explained on Twitter. Yvonne’s employers proceeded to invest a huge amount of care in their valued employee, listening to every medical update and making sure her changing needs were met.

Yvonne’s employer, British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s (©Getty Images | BEN STANSALL)

As time went on, the demands of Yvonne’s new role as “picker” proved increasingly difficult, but Sainsbury’s was still unprepared to dismiss her. Instead, store employers made up a brand-new role for Yvonne: she would become “tote cleaner,” responsible for the cleaning of the boxes, a task that some staff already managed as part of their roles. No doubt, they were pleased and grateful that Yvonne would be taking over!

And far from feeling like a demotion, the new role was, in fact, the perfect solution and the perfect antidote to Yvonne’s progressively deteriorating memory. “Sainsbury’s have seen my mum deteriorate to the point that every day for the last year or so she has gone into the store confused, as if she’d never been there before,” Doron wrote. “They have always stood by her, going above and beyond to make sure she’s happy and feeling valued.”

An occupational health assessment in October of 2017 concluded that Yvonne’s Alzheimer’s had reached an advanced stage, and that she was technically unemployable. The Sainsbury’s store in which she worked, however, kept Yvonne on the roster for a further six months. Yvonne worked her very last shift on a Saturday, and was bid a fond farewell by everyone in the store. “My mum was emotional but relieved,” Doron shared, in a post chronicling his mother’s last day.

Doron’s post was shared by thousands of people, including Sainsbury’s. “Doron’s mum was a much loved colleague and an inspiration to all of us,” Sainsbury’s told The Independent. “We’d like to thank her for her years of service.”

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, reached out via The Independent to praise Sainsbury’s and thank Doron, saying: “The experience outlined by Doron Salomon highlights the importance of helping people with dementia to remain an active part of their community. Employers can play a vital role in supporting people with dementia.” Evans then added: “It’s our mission to bring about the first life-changing treatment for dementia.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK relies upon public support for their pioneering research.

Doron Salomon 发布于 2012年11月19日周一

Ultimately, Doron thanked Sainsbury’s for preserving his mother’s dignity at a time when her own sense of self could easily have become lost in the fog. “On a human level,” he wrote, “the people working at the Kenton store have shown sensitivity, kindness and care. Thank you.”