On being a carer

Published on 11 October 2020

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Being a carer for a person with dementia can be challenging, but there is lots of support available. We spoke to Margaret who shared her experience of caring for her husband Charlie.

“I met Charlie in 1964 and we married a year later. He was transferred from the Eastern States with the Army and was in the Special Air Service. After we married, he had two tours of duty with SAS overseas, including Vietnam.

About seven years ago, he was diagnosed with Dementia, but I had noticed signs of deterioration before then. It’s hard to see the person you have loved for over 55 years slowly disappearing.

When it first happened, I wish I had known the right questions to ask the appropriate people and where to turn for help. All of the acronyms, rules and regulations are very confusing and daunting.

It’s important to take care of yourself if you’re caring for someone with dementia. If anything happens to you, then you would not be able to care for your loved one. My advice is to ask lots of questions and keep asking until you understand or receive the help that is available. Reach out to others in the same situation, it’s comforting to know you are not alone and other people may have suggestions and skills to help you through whatever difficulty you are currently experiencing.

One of the resources that we really value is the Swan Valley Memory Café, it’s a lovely place to meet other people experiencing similar life circumstances. Sometimes we chat about important things and other times it’s just nice to have fun and relax.”

For more information about the Swan Valley Memory Café, visit www.facebook.com/swanvalleymemorycafe/

You can also contact the organiser Jan on 0419 850 633 or swanvalleymemorycafe@gmail.com

For more information about services the City of Swan offers to people living with dementia and their carers, visit www.swan.wa.gov.au/Your-Services/Community-Care or call 9267 9055.

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