Stories

The stories on these pages are from people affected by dementia.

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I care for my wife Margaret.

Diagnosis- Official diagnosis by Professor Woodward approx. 8 years ago after 18 months of tests at Aust/ Repat. Hospital.  

Medication prescribed- Aricept which helped for a number of years but now has minimal effect. Regular annual checks by GP over above time. We were retired at time of diagnosis.

He had had dementia for some years now, but only stopped driving a year ago, after driving his car into the bush and needing to be triangulated using the 'find my iPhone' app.  

The police, after six hours of telling them where he was, couldn’t find him. I did.

This was very distressing and he was very cold.

My Father was a head teacher at TAFE and a licensing inspector before that, directly reporting to the licensing magistrates court. I still have his ID.

My partner Chris was diagnosed at age 56 with Younger Onset Dementia.

Prior to his diagnosis he was a successful and articulate teacher. However, when his employer recognised that something was wrong and suggested that he see his doctor, our lives changed dramatically.

Diagnosis:
Grace Edwards was born 4/2/1927, she was diagnosed with dementia at Casey Hospital October 2007 after an operation at Dandenong Hospital to remove gallstones, gallbladder and repair a hernia. It was previously a gradual diminution of memory over several years. She was medicated for low level depression.

Stage1:
On recommendation of our doctor we received 1 hour/ week home help and 1 hour/week social visit.

Stage 2:
Upgraded to Villa Maria early 2007

MY DAD

The old man sits there, Looking like he used to

A man drowsy from sleep, With a smile so deep.

Who is this man? Once so full of life

Now silent and withdrawn, Unaware of life with his wife.

Who is this man? That sits quietly in his chair?

With a twinkle in his eye, Reminding me with his stare.

Who is this man? Who used to sit me on his knee,

And called me “Blossom” But now no longer knows me.

This old man is my Dad, He is not the man I once knew

2004, in Perth, saw Judy disturbed by her inability to remember where items had been placed in our three-storey town-house. 

Throughout the year, several doctors told her it was just a sign of old age in a person born in 1930. Judy had never been concerned about her mental health but the continued memory loss prompted consultations with a psychiatrist throughout 2005. 

I first married in 1951, to Kathleen, my wife for nearly 40 years. We had a delightful first 30 years approx. when little (!) oddities started to occur. Particularly memorable are an incident when she attempted to park the car in an impossibly narrow space, with resultant considerable damage to our and adjoining cars.

Then she was charged with shoplifting, found guilty and fined – but conditional upon psychiatric assessment. No need to steal; we were financially secure, and I kept an ample supply of the stolen item (gin!) in the house. I was not informed of any diagnosis.

It was quite a conversation she was having with her cat,

Her beaming smile infectious it was on her bed she sat

The purring of the kitten filled the lady’s heart with joy

An intermittent "meow" was heard a friendship to enjoy

The whitest cat with tabby spots the softest feline fur

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.

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.