Allan and his wife Maureen joined the Scottish Dementia Working Group recently as they wanted to campaign and raise awareness of what life is like for people with dementia and their carers. The couple had felt isolated due to the Covid pandemic and felt the need for peer support and friendship. 

About Allan

About Allan

Allan has three passions in life, his family, work and anything sports related, especially rugby and golf. Allan and Maureen have been married for nearly 47 years and speak proudly of their two sons and four grandchildren. They have two grandsons in Scotland and a granddaughter and grandson in Australia. They both missed their grandsons’ company very much during lockdown, as before Covid, once a week they would collect the boys from school, help with homework, give them dinner and take them to tennis practice. Photos and Facetime calls continued from Australia which was great. Allan and Maureen have been a good support to each other over the years with Allan supporting Maureen with her type one diabetes, learning how to manage hypos and safely administer injections should it be required. 

As a young man Allan was a paratrooper, specialising in communication until an accident meant he had to be medically discharged. Allan used his knowledge of electronics to start up two businesses, a tv repair business and after that a security business covering all of Scotland and northern England. He decided to sell his business when he was 65. Allan worked long hours, often 7 days a week to build the business despite chronic back pain from a spinal complaint. Their sons say they got their strong work ethic from their dad.


Allan Rodgers


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Retirement and Alan’s dementia journey

Retirement and Allan's dementia journey

Allan found retirement difficult. He did some voluntary work for a local food bank which he enjoyed, played golf and enjoyed his grandsons’ company. However, word finding difficulties became more pronounced and he became lost while out for a run on two different holidays. About three years into retirement Allan went to see his GP, and following scans he was told he had Alzheimer’s disease, this process took many months. Allan and Maureen were very happy with the support they received from nursing staff when Allan was started on medication. The communication, education and regular support was greatly appreciated. 

Post Diagnostic Support

Getting support 

Maureen and Allan were told that due to demand there would be a considerable delay in getting a Link Worker. Although Allan was diagnosed pre-Covid, due to this delay (and by this time the pandemic restrictions), the support offered had to be delivered mainly through telephone calls, although they did have one visit. They feel it would have been better to have had more face to face contact with their Link Worker as it helps seeing someone in person. 

Allan is an advanced driver and found the process of a driving assessment very stressful. Edinburgh has the only assessment centre and both Allan and Maureen feel there should be more localised centres throughout the country. Before retirement, Maureen was an occupational therapist and had experience of health and social care. This has helped her to navigate through a system which has been difficult for them and anxiety provoking. The couple were introduced to the SDWG which they were apprehensive about joining, however they have welcomed the support and friendship in a short space of time. Allan has word finding difficulties which affects his ability to express himself. Maureen supports Allan with his communication during meetings by speaking for Allan when required. They talk through the sessions beforehand, so Maureen knows what Allan is thinking. Maureen says although they have been together 47 years, Allan can still surprise her with what he is thinking. Although Allan and Maureen appreciate the support given, they feel they would have been better supported by:
-    More planned and structured involvement
-    Not having to repeat conversations to every professional they had to deal with
-    Involving Allan more even though he has word finding difficulties

Moving on

Our lives now

Allan was a season ticket holder of Glasgow warriors and is a member of a golf club and gym. He is a keen walker, power walking for miles and usually runs twice a week approximately for 8 miles a run. Allan feels this is good for both his physical and mental health. Allan enjoys good food, was the cook in the home and everyone enjoying his beef and chicken dishes. He has passed his love of cooking to his sons who are both good cooks. An ideal Friday for the couple, would include shopping, then out to a wine bar and seeking out new restaurants. Throughout the year they would have several holidays to Majorca, Australia to visit the family and then explore somewhere new. Maureen said, “we had a very good life, we still have a good life but different”. 

Allan and family


"We had a very good life, we still have a good life but different.” - Maureen Rodgers