The stories on these pages are from people affected by dementia.
I have found myself, at the age of 62
In a place that I never thought I’d be
I have a husband, children, and grandchildren. Let me tell you a little about me……
My mind is in a fog, my days seem empty
No longer can I work – the future seems bleak My memory is going, and anxiety now haunts me Every day it’s just normality that I seek
My name is Wendy and I am 54 years old. Prior to my diagnosis (which was 3 years ago) I was working full-time as a Payroll Officer and I was a sole parent with my 22 year old daughter living at home.
It was in my work place that I first noticed something was not right. I had been in Payroll for 18 years and couldn’t remember how to do back pay or remember the meetings that I had attended. So after becoming quite concerned about what was going on at work I went to my GP of several years.
My mum’s story is a tragic one, although there was a silver lining in the end.
Since I was 9 (I am currently 45) my mum, Maurine, had battled with mental health issues. She had bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression and until her late forties was an alcoholic.
33 years ago my Mother was diagnosed with Dementia.
The Doctor told my Father and me that Dementia meant Mum's brain cells were dying, and nothing could be done.
She would soon be institutionalised in Kenmore Mental Asylum - a very old, lock-up facility. This left us feeling helpless, hopeless and broken-hearted over what was happening.
The illness progressed as expected, with Mum "living" her last 4 years in Kenmore, not recognising me, not talking, and cared for by people who were not able to help us connect in any way.
I have tried so very, very hard to keep my husband, with Alzheimer’s, at home for as long as possible, and not place him in a Nursing Home.
My husband was diagnosed 4 years ago with Alzheimer’s as a result of my noticing speech repetition patterns developing over a period of a few months. There are some excellent services available to people suffering from this dreadful disease but I feel that there are some areas which need addressing urgently especially in the light of the burgeoning number of cases diagnosed each year.
Michael grew up in the South-West of England, living in the fishing villages of Cornwall and Devon.
He enjoyed an active outdoor life.
A natural ability in art took him to art college, which was then interrupted by his conscription to the British Air-Force, where he was chosen to be a Fitness Instructor. From there he was recruited to be trained in the newly developed Diploma in Remedial Gymnastics, to help rehabilitate severely disabled ex-servicemen.
I work in an aged care facility and I see the miss use of antipsychotic drugs for treating dementia.
I work in dementia specific areas; one area is middle- late stage and the other specifically late stage.
I work as a diversional therapist and know that most of the behaviours are due to the persons needs not being met.
Most of the time its because of the lack of staff and the other is the staffs attitude towards the person with dementia.
I have recently become a trainer specifically because of the latter.
Prior to 2007, we led a normal lifestyle for our age (82).
My husband was diagnosed mainly by our own GP. Almost immediately he had to give up driving and our life changed quickly on account of this and other leisure activities.
Depending on our 2 daughters (both live great distances away) and relying on friends wasn’t good.
My husband’s dementia has progressed slowly over the past 4 years.
My Grandfather is 86 yo & my Grandmother is 83 yo, both happily married and have been so for about 63 years.
Old Gramps has prostate cancer & poor Grandma has Alzheimer’s Disease.
For this reason we are unable to put them into full time care, because Gramps has a physically debilitating disease & Grandma’s is a mental disease, they have different needs.