This vital support enables the sisters to remain living at home, something Pierini promised Connie they would do for as long as they could. Having connections to the wider community reduced the isolation both had felt before becoming part of the ladies group, and the dementia program at Kennedy House. Pierini’s stress level has really reduced, she has formed friendships and delights others with her sense of humour. Connie’s participation in the dementia program has reignited the spark that had wavered after her health declined. Talking to Pierini, Connie says “I don’t know what I’d do without you”, then to us, “I love her, she’s my sister”.

Connie loves Italian tenor singers Tito Schipa, Luigi Infantino and Beniamino Gigli. She also loves the classics from Al Martino, Connie Francis and Engelbert Humperdinck. Connie’s eyes light up when she talks about the tenors and the music she loves. Pierini puts music on for her each night and she feels a sense of freedom and release from the Alzheimer’s that often confuses her during the day.

Both Connie and Pierini are grateful not only to receive support but also to have people who really care in their lives, some of whom volunteer their time. “You couldn’t wish to be with better people”, Pierini says. The sisters are also grateful for each other, and the love Pierini’s daughter Tina shows them both. “She loves us both the same”, Connie says, showing just how important family is to them all. It’s wonderful to hear Connie and Pierini feel like Kennedy House is like family too. The importance of family, community and home is at the heart of Connie and Pierini’s story, and at the heart of why Care Options exists.