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.
My name is Danijela and in 1996 my frail parents came into my care from overseas.
I knew nothing of Aged care assessments, Carers respite or carer payments.
For a number of years I struggled on my own, and the local GP and other services just kept saying I should put my parents into a nursing home! I now know that my mother’s dementia was misdiagnosed for 6 years as severe depression. This was partly due to her not speaking English and no doctor taking enough time to examine her properly.
A mournful cry was coming from a mother in distress she was sobbing uncontrollably her mind was under stress A piercing pain was searing through her heavy broken heart, it was nighttime, her and I and I was unsure where to start
“The doctor says she has to go I’ve done all that I can” she blurted out between the sobs I tried to understand “I have to let my baby go, I hope I’ll be forgiven” I could not quite imagine how her mind was being driven
My Disappearing World…
My name is Kate. I am married and have two sons who are 21 and 22. I was born in 1958 in a small country hospital and grew up in a farming community on Eyre Peninsula. My first career was nursing, specialising in operating theatres. I then changed careers and became a chef. Finally I worked in health care sales.