THE STORY of a wife from Warwick who was full-time carer to her husband is being highlighted for World Alzheimer’s Month.
Warwickshire County Council is shining a light on all those who provide support to a family member, a friend or a neighbour this month.
And Susan, who cared full-time for husband Thomas, is among them.
Thomas suffers from dementia and Susan read up on her husband’s condition and even completed some online training on the topic, as she wanted to be as knowledgeable as she could be.
Susan was aware Thomas would deteriorate slowly over time, especially with his communication skills. As a result, she decided she would like on-going support to help her better understand her husband’s condition, and so she got in touch with a dementia advisor through WCC.
In Warwickshire alone, it is estimated there are 8,000 people living with all variations of dementia, Alzheimer’s, being one of them. A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s can be daunting, however, WCC is able to provide support for both the person living with the condition and for the person with a caring responsibility.
When it came to a dementia advisor helping Susan, she was sent factsheets about communication and changes in behaviour.
A home visit was arranged where they were able to talk through practical hints and tips for how she could support her husband.
They advised Susan to talk to their GP regarding these recent changes in behaviour to see if there were any underlying health issues, and signposted Susan to local dementia groups for her and her husband to attend.
Over the next few months, Thomas began to deteriorate, and Susan was struggling at home. Susan contacted the dementia advisor again who advised her to start thinking about the future and sent her information sheets on next steps including, respite care and care homes.
Thomas was successfully placed in a nursing home – where all his needs are met, which has allowed Susan to look after her own health and wellbeing and take time to visit her daughter, who lives nearby.
For more information visit https://dementia.warwickshire.gov.uk/