The son of a former Sainsbury’s employee suffering from Alzheimer's disease has thanked the retailer for the compassionate way it handled her illness.
Doron Salomon used Twitter to thank the supermarket for supporting his mother in her job despite the steady deterioration of her condition.
His mother, who is in her 60s and worked for the company for six years, remained in her job at the Sainsbury’s in Kenton, north London, until last week.
Mr Salomon’s Twitter thread praising the way her bosses worked with her to ensure she could continue to work, has been shared more than 4,000 times
He wrote: “Alzheimer's, for those that aren't aware, is more than just memory loss.
“To name a few things it impacts social skills, mood, increases disorientation, exaggerates emotions, can make you aggressive, increases tiredness, loss of language, inability to make decisions.
“When my mum first began to show signs of the disease she was working as a bookkeeper.
“Formerly a very organised person who was good with numbers, it became obvious quite quickly she could no longer do her job effectively.”
Mr Salomon, who did not want to give his mother’s name, explained that she applied for a job at a Sainsbury's in 2012 and became part of the team bagging up online orders for delivery.
“Medically, she was fine even if staff may have quickly realised something was up,” he wrote.
He said when Sainsbury's were made aware of her condition they were “outstanding” in the way they treated her.
He wrote: “For context, Sainsbury's have seen my mum deteriorate to the point that every day for the last year or so she has gone into the store confused, as if she'd never been there before.
“They have always stood by her, going above and beyond to make sure she's happy and feeling valued.”
He said the supermarket helped his mother by offering her regular retraining, as well as changing her hours.
The company also held regular welfare meetings with her husband, who looks after her, and ensured that her colleagues were aware of her condition so they were able to help her.
Mr Salomon said the retailer even created a job that did not exist, so that there was something in-store that his mother could do after her condition had worsened.
His said the small task of cleaning the delivery boxes gave his mum a sense of purpose.
“To my mum, cleaning the tote boxes became the most important job in the world. If she didn't do it the store would fall apart,” he wrote.
“The sense of self-worth and pride has undeniably helped with aspects of her Alzheimer's, such as giving her something to talk about in social situations.”
He said Sainsbury’s could have terminated her employment on a number of occasions but they did not.
“Instead, every time my dad was called in for a meeting, fearing the worst, it was because they had noticed a decline, were concerned about her and wanted to know what more they could do to help,” he said.
“The senior management have acted with compassion and handled everything with class and dignity.
“This thread doesn't really do Sainsbury’s justice but I wanted to publicly thank them on behalf of my family.
“They have been a fabulous employer but more than that, on a human level, the people working at the Kenton store have shown sensitivity, kindness and care. Thank you.”
A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: "Doron’s mum was a much loved colleague and an inspiration to all of us. We’d like to thank her for her years of service and wish her all the best for the future."