Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Early onset dementia: a carers view (part 2)

arthur+martha is working at a 'Buddy Cafe' for people diagnosed with dementia - and their carers - in Salford. We're bringing together the stories of the many people involved. Some of these pieces will be interviews, others creative work. We're trying to trace paths through the jargon and confusion, towards understanding. This project is in partnership with Age Concern Salford and Salford PCT.

In this interview (part 2 of 2) Becky who cares for her dad (diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia) describes the impact that caring has on her life and place in the world. 

At the moment I’m managing my dad’s care, we don’t need someone in to cook, or extra help yet. But what would happen if I got a full time job. I wake up sometimes and think if I didn’t care for him who would.

Yesterday I found out about some services I didn’t know existed. Crossroads ( and Telecare. ( ) And I can Always pick the phone up and Age Concern are there to help and point me in the right direction if they can’t help.

I’ve been off my antidepressants for a year now, an amazing feeling to do it even with all the things going on.

If I don’t do it no-one will. It sounds stupid because if I walked my sister would, but she’s got her own family…

I feel like I’m in a catch 22 situation. I can’t get a full time job because I can’t leave my dad alone- I’d spend all day at work worrying- has he turned the oven off, the tap off… I can’t move out because I haven’t a full time job.

(It feels quite nice to say exactly what I’m feeling to you. I have conversations with my dad, but he forgets.)

Got to have a sense of humur with him. My patience has grown very quickly. I don’t sit there and say you’ve told me that three times already. I get to spend a lot of time with him, even if its not the dad I grew up with.

It’s hard work but rewarding that I know what I do helps my dad have a better quality of life. Because I take a lot of stress, he has a better quality of life. I’m young. I can take it. It has become the norm.

If I had time off I would spend all my time worrying. I spent time with my church and the Beavers Group. It lets me out of my own head for a while.

I can’t believe this is actually my life.

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