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 befriended a loving person some 30 years ago. We got on great together and enjoyed travelling around Australia.
Then in 2000, Margaret started not been able to remember things. Not able to do what she use to. Then it would come back to her.
She was changing and she realised it.
We went to the doctors. He suggested to have some tests. They did not go the way we would have liked (Alzheimer’s very possible).
She once was Australia’s “First Lady” exuding her poise style and grace, exceeding her roles expectations her aura protecting her space Her gift of relating to people to empathize, one of her skills, a sharp witty mind educated her role as a mother fulfilled
Then cruelly and randomly chosen Alzheimer invaded her mind, how could this happen to Hazel? who surely is one of a kind It strikes without fear, without favour and victims are somewhat perplexed they can’t understand what is happening or where this will all lead to next
n 2000 I noticed changes in my husband, Keith’s behaviour when he was in his late 60’s. He had always attended to financial and household needs and was a metal and woodwork hobbyist. Regarding finances, he said “We’ll just leave the papers now” and his workshop was now in chaos.