Woman with dementia given work as a waitress at Nottingham restaurant

A woman from Nottinghamshire, who was diagnosed with dementia aged 43, has been waitressing in a restaurant to show how people with the condition can still contribute to the workplace.

The Alzheimer's Society asked Shelley Sheppard to take up the challenge as part of Dementia Action Week.

Shelley worked front of house at the Pieminister restaurant over a busy Saturday lunchtime.

I'm a little bit nervous but I'm enjoying it at the same time. I think for me it's taking the orders and writing them down. My spelling and my writing isn't what it used to be. I've lost that ability there.

Shelley Sheppard.

People with dementia living in Nottinghamshire.

One person develops dementia in the UK every 3 minutes and in Nottinghamshire alone, there are 14,000 people living with the condition.

Despite that, research suggests two-thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely.

Many people are worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ to someone with dementia, yet a friendly face or listening ear can make the world of difference. Even in the later stages of dementia when having a conversation might become difficult, keeping in touch can bring feelings of happiness and comfort, especially as the ‘emotional memory’ remains with them long after the memory of the visit may have gone.

Anne Graves, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager in Nottinghamshire