Brian’s bird watching day out

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18th November 2022


Brian is 77 and lives with his wife Janette in Horwich. A professional footballer in the 60s and 70s, he played for Wigan and Bury and was captain of his local golf club. As a lifelong sports fan he spent his working life as a PE teacher. He and his wife Janette also ran a guest house in the Lakes and lived in Spain.

Brian now lives with mixed type Dementia and has been going to Brazley Centre two days a week since May 2022. Brazley Centre is one of Bolton Cares three Life Opportunities centres for older people

Brian met up with Toby and Karen, Bolton Cares’ Community Activity Coordinators and had a chat about doing a different activity outside of Brazley Centre. He and a pal said that they loved the outdoors and really liked the idea of bird watching.

They talked and planned what they needed, including binoculars and warm clothes. Brian’s wife Janette helped him to plan and prepare for the trip out.

The day finally arrived and it was brilliant. Brian’s highlights were being in the car, chatting, walking in the fresh air, talking about his life and what he had enjoyed when he was younger. Talking about the different birds and sounds and enjoying the feeling of being outside and doing something different. He enjoyed looking through the hide and seeing all the detail of what was happening in nature, it was excellent. Also going out for a pub lunch and a pint afterwards made him feel fantastic

Brian told us “Having the chance to do something different gave me a huge sense of happiness. I was thrilled at being able to think about the bird watching as it had been described by Toby and Karen in a very exciting way.  I know that the pictures taken shows how much I enjoyed the day. Being in the pub and having a meal and a pint in a small group was also fantastic fun.”

As Brian’s wife and main carer, Janette told us that she was delighted that Brian had been given the opportunity to get involved in the bird watching. She helped plan the day and got so much pleasure seeing Brian enjoying himself. She told us that the most important thing was that after the day he could recall some of what he had done, which was really positive and he smiled a lot. It’s rare that any memories stick these days, but this one did.

If I were to give any advice, it would be to do more of these kinds of activities. Being in the fresh air and enjoying the peace of the outdoors, it was a fantastic experience.