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Michael’s story

“You could see on her face how happy mum was to see her grandchildren for the first time since March.”

Michael Jones applied for a PSPA Support Grant to help purchase an iPad for his mum, who was diagnosed with PSP at the end of 2019

“I heard about the grants in an email from the Norwich Local Group coordinator and it got me thinking how it could help mum, who was diagnosed with PSP after approximately six years of investigations.

I phoned the PSPA Helpline to get some more information about the grants. They were extremely helpful and patient with me, running through the whole application process and the types of items and services we could potentially apply for a grant to help us with.

The Helpline highlighted a healthcare professional needed to write the application and so I spoke to mum’s speech and language therapist about whether the grant could help fund an iPad.

Mum lives in Norwich, with no family near-by, so we speak on the phone on a regular basis. Since mum can struggle to get her words out at times it can lead to periods of silence on the phone, whilst she thinks about what she wants to say. I thought an iPad could really help mum with calls, providing a larger screen for Facetime so we could see her and know when she was processing her thoughts. It would also give her some face to face contact during the lockdown too.

Mum’s speech and language therapist agreed this would be a great aid and between us we put together a case for a grant to help cover the costs.

I found out the application had been successful just two or three weeks after we submitted it. It was brilliant news, which gave us all a bit of a boost. It’s been a tough year, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing so many delays with the arrangements for a care package and funding to help adapt mum’s bathroom, not to mention the fact, mum hadn’t seen her grandchildren since March. So, this was a really welcomed piece of good news which meant my kids could see their nana again and mum felt well supported by PSPA.

I took the newly purchased iPad to mum a couple of weeks ago and set up different apps, such as Facetime, photo ordering, shopping and banking apps, which would help her stay in contact with family and also enhance her independence.

We made our first Facetime call with mum during the weekend of 7 November, for my daughter’s 8th birthday celebrations. You could see on mum’s face how happy she was to see her grandchildren for the first time since March. The kids were really happy too and were dashing about the house bringing things to show mum.

Me and mum managed to attend a couple of Local Group meetings before the first set of lockdown restrictions were brought in. Hopefully, once mum has had more practice using the iPad, she will be able to access the Zoom Local Group meetings to help give her another link with the outside world.”