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Prolonged stress, isolation and uncertainty are new to many – but not to families impacted by dementia.
Tim was a committed family man. He was also busy running a business, loved to cook his family dinner every night and plan exciting holidays. He felt bulletproof.
But at 51, Tim began making unusual mistakes. He’d put food away in crockery draws and came home with dings in the car. He’d forget to call work clients back and how to do simple math.
Then, Tim was quickly let go from two jobs in a row, running automotive spare parts businesses. He launched his own company – but Tim’s wife Laura noticed he was very confused and overwhelmed: in the end, she was doing most of the work.
Laura went to their GP with her concerns and in the months ahead, Tim underwent test after test. One year after his symptoms began, Tim was diagnosed with younger onset dementia.
Almost half a million Australians like Tim are experiencing the double whammy of COVID-19 restrictions and dementia − a fatal, incurable disease.
Despite his positive attitude, COVID-19 has been a nightmare for Tim.
Calming routines have been severely disrupted. Exercise therapy has been restricted. Nightly news about COVID-19 overwhelms Tim. Social distancing and handwashing are impossible to remember.
Recently, Tim’s health seriously deteriorated.
One of Tim’s symptoms was that his delusions made him believe he could see strangers living in their home, stealing his things. It really broke Prue’s heart to watch her dad hide items in fear.
“One day, Dad wanted to show me the man in the mirror who was watching him,” Prue recalls. “I realised he was talking about his reflection – he couldn’t recognise his own face anymore. I broke down crying and rang Mum. I can’t imagine how awful this must feel for Dad.” – Prue, devoted daughter and carer to Tim.
With your donation, more families could receive life-changing support from Dementia Australia, especially during a time when COVID-19 has turned life upside down.
Please donate today to help fund our vital support programs and ground-breaking research that could improve the lives of people like Tim.