Dementia carer: 'Although they're alive, you're grieving every day you see them'

20 August 2021, 14:00

'Although they're still alive, you're grieving everyday you see them.'

By Tim Dodd

This is the moment a 91-year-old caller shared the heartrending story of his wife's slow deterioration with Alzheimer's which led to her having to go into a care home.

91-year-old Alan in Broxbourne told Ben Kentish: "My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease on the 6th September 2011.

"It's an awful illness. I nursed her at home until she turned night into day, and it kept me awake for a week, I couldn't go on any longer. So I had to make arrangements to get her into a care home as near to me and as reasonable as I could get.

"She was there for just over a year. I visited her every day. 

"You watch your loved one slowly, slowly decline. She lost her battle on the 30th November 2015. And I did need counselling, I still do for that matter.

"Although your loved one is still alive, you are in fact grieving every day you see them and leave them."

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"You're grieving the person they were," Ben Kentish remarked.

Alan then explained that singing was "one of the last things to go" and prior to her death his wife was involved in singing sessions.

When asked whether he sought support, Alan said: "You go into a shell like a snail and you have a job to get out and make yourself do what is suggested. But if you can bring yourself to do what a counsellor will tell you to do [it's helpful]."

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