I recently read an article in the magazine “Yours” about Pat Johnsons and her husband Peter’s journey with dementia. She urges partners to seek a diagnosis as soon as they realise something is wrong with their spouse as early diagnosis is is vital.
Pat kept a journal and and a dementia diary and kept detailed notes about how the condition affected Peter. She was also a member of the “Yours” “Carers in Touch” scheme and said that contact with other carers was vital.
Her parting words in the article were;
” The most important thing to do is to seek help, no-one should care for someone with dementia without support”
Her tips for other dementia carers included:
- Seek medical help as soon as you suspect there is a problem.
- Keep a detailed dementia diary, (I like this idea and think it is a brilliant) it will help you remember facts at hospital appointments.
- Write down your feelings . It helps to release pent up frustration and emotions.
- Join a local support group and the Carers in Touch scheme.
- Find a friend for times of crisis and don’t be afraid to seek help
- Look after your own health.
These are really useful tips from someone who has been there, done that and got the T-shirt!
It is useful to bear in mind we are not alone in the situation of caring for a partner who has a diagnosis of dementia although initially it may feel that way.