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.
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.
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.
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.
I knew there was something wrong with me approximately 2½ years ago. I was becoming very forgetful, my husband , who has always had a short fuse, would say loudly to me when I repeated myself “I have already told you that.” Of course this would upset me greatly but after time he stopped saying it.
I have eight grandchildren aged from 6 to 19 who I love to bits. They understand much better than adults. It’s been an emotional roller coaster ride for me.
My beloved Dad (country Victoria) was forced into aged care for 6.5 years by my sibling (Adelaide), who didn’t want him living with us in a loving family unit.
We had an incredible amount of contact with him, and supported him in every way, took him on outings regularly, bought him to the family home weekly for special roasts, and treated him with dignity at all times.
He felt special and loved.
For 20 years we NEVER missed a birthday, father’s day or Christmas etc. No different in aged Care. He was a lucky one.
My wife has dementia and is going well down hill.
It has been about 3 years since she was diagnosed. It was delivered when I went to hospital to have a hip replaced. When I came out, she didn’t want to know me. She was put in to a home at Mirboo.
Life would be a lot easier if there was more help for people in my case. This has changed my life in the way I have to cook and look after her. My social life has been affected too, no golf etc.