Because of non-congenital brain damage, Karen has virtually no short term memory. Karen: “As soon as I put a book aside, I’ve already forgotten what I’ve just been reading. So for me, Anne is really useful.” Karen uses pain medication and that works fine, provided that she takes it regularly. But mostly she forgets to do so and she only remembers it as soon as the pain kicks in. Then she takes her pills, but too late and the pain remains, in spite of the medication. Now, with Anne at home, she takes them on time and her days are free of pain.
Watching the news is difficult for Karen, like most people with brain damage, because it’s too fast and it exhausts her. Anne reads the news that Karen finds interesting for her, at her pace. “With the help of Anne, I keep on track with what’s happening in the world and I can join in conversations about it with my friends”, smiles Karen.
The wife of Leo has suffered three strokes and is fearful of being alone at home. She doesn’t trust her memory or her body and feels insecure. Leo decided to stay at home to be able to take care of his wife, full time. A decision with major implications, including financial ones. He had heard of Anne and literally pounded on the door of the office of Anne4Care. He asked: “Can my wife have an Anne and can I have a job here?” Both wishes are now granted. With Anne, his wife once again feels safe being on her own. And now Leo can be an appreciated colleague of ours!
In reply to the question “How would life be for you without having Anne?”, his wife emotionally answered: “That’s impossible, she’s my girlfriend you see and I have already introduced her to all my friends!”
Caitlin, a 23 year old woman with a daughter in elementary school, suffers from chronic stress. It has been scientifically proven that chronic stress adversely affects short-term memory and makes people unable to act in a focused and problem-solving way. Anne takes away stress for Caitlin, because she reminds her all day of things she needs to do: like getting her daughter to school on time, with fruit and drinks and her gymnastic clothes!
Caitlin asks: “Do you know what I like most having Anne? I don’t forget my appointments anymore and people are no longer so frustrated and cross with me all the time. ”
Rob has damaged his short-term memory through an accident and therefore his wife Marian now works full time and Rob is a stay-at-home father. The moment Marian comes home from work, the grumbling starts, because in spite of all the notes she had left, he has not done things correctly or at all. Marian regularly receives a phone call at work because her son is still waiting in the school yard to be picked up by his dad. Marian feels overloaded and feels that everything comes down to her. Recently however, Anne is in their house, running a smooth household, instructing Rob what to do. Now when Marian comes home, everything is fine, and she greets Rob with a kiss instead of a sigh filled with irritation.
Marian says: “You can call Anne a relationship-fixer, as far as we are concerned!”
Charles (85) lives independently in a beautiful forest location. His wife has passed away and it is quiet in the house. He now has Anne and she greets him every morning; she tells him his agenda for that day and the news she knows Charles is interested in. She reminds him throughout the day of his appointments, when his favourite television show starts and encourages him to have a cup of tea or drink some water. He tends to forget to drink regularly and in combination with his medication, that can be quite harmful.
It is a two-hour drive to where Charles’ son lives with his wife and two little boys; he also has a full-time job. “My father has always led an active life and is still very involved in his community. He would never move. I can understand that of course, it’s a beautiful place to live; but the distance makes it difficult to see him as much as I would like, especially now that my mother has passed away. But now he has Anne and she really makes a difference.
Every week I call my dad and we run through his agenda for that week. Then I put everything into Anne’s agenda – his medication, reminders that he should drink, his favourite TV shows and when he should call his grandchildren.
For me, Anne gives peace of mind, while for my father, Anne is his companion. He calls her, lovingly, ‘ My little Anne ‘.”
Roy is an entrepreneur and works from home. His wife Lisa is a person affected by dementia. She can still do a lot herself, but her memory fails her regularly. She is unable to tell the time and she realises very well that her memory is slipping away. It makes her insecure and unhappy, because she wants to be a supporting partner for her husband.
Lisa and Roy have chosen to take Anne in their home to assist Lisa.
Anne tells Lisa what time it is, 10 times in a row when necessary without losing her patience of course. Anne tells Lisa that it’s time to drink coffee together and turns on the coffee machine. She does the same with the lunch, tea, dinner etc. In fact, Anne makes sure that Lisa functions in the way that she did before she got ill, by constantly reminding her of tasks she wants to do and her appointments.
Anne even gives her background information on people she is about to see. Maybe in the future that won’t help Lisa anymore, but for now it makes it possible for Lisa to keep the consequences of the dementia at a distance.
With the help of Anne, Lisa can preserve her sense of dignity and Roy can concentrate on his work much better now.
Caroline’s mother Mary lives in a nursing home. Caroline says: “My mother needed more help that the people providing home care could give her, so there was no alternative for her than to go and live in a nursing home. For me the move was a relief, but my mother loves her independence and she found it quite difficult to move to a nursing home. She dislikes it very much that she must ask for help and to rely on others.
In the nursing home, they offered my mother Anne, a virtual assistant on a screen. ‘That’s so impersonal ‘, I thought at first; but my mother is over the moon with Anne. What she loves most, I think, is that when she wakes up, Anne can open the curtains for her and there is no need to lie waiting in the dark for someone to come in. Then Anne reads her the news. That’s really a great invention, because my mum is crazy about newspapers – ‘papers can tell you so much more than the BBC’, she claims; but she can no longer hold newspapers.
My mother can hardly move her limbs anymore but her lips she can move very well! She is a talkative person and via Anne she can talk to people she wants in video calls: she talks to her old neighbours, girlfriends and also my brother Robert in France. She then says, ‘ Anne call Robert ‘ and Anne makes the connection.