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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.

Changes to lifestyle- Major change to lifestyle about 3 years ago when it became necessary to downsize our home and move from Melbourne to Drouin to be nearer to family and to allow a more restful and quiet atmosphere.

Great support from local Alzheimer’s representative and carers in local area but Margaret’s illness is now progressing much more rapidly over the last 6 months and, as her carer in the home, I am needing much more help now. Over the past week I have made some notes of some of the night caring. 

For example, I needed to help Margaret back to bed 12 times one night, 7 times the next, and 29 times the 4th night which means that I am averaging less than 3 hours sleep a night and when you add to the fact that Margaret suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and needs toileting sometimes as much as 18-20 times a day (and needs help to find the toilet and how to use the toilet), my time from other daily jobs of “normal living” is severely restricted. End of life planning has been in place for many years and is constantly being updated as necessary.

One main way of making things easier for Margaret and I would be to speed up the approval of packages once an assessment has been done.