The loss felt more intense
My husband had early onset dementia in his 60s. I cared for him for ten years until he died. I was 70 when he died. The loss felt more intense to me as a carer. I can remember sitting here two days afterwards with a group of friends and I said to them, ‘Come and find me someone to care for.’
It was my job. I couldn’t imagine what I was going to do with my life.
Life at the day center
In my experience people think of older ladies when they think of dementia and the centres are set up for older ladies. They expect people to sit there and have their hair done and play bingo.
I think men find socialising tougher than women do. It’s the way we were brought up and the jobs we had. I think men because of their jobs hadn't developed much in the way of social groups. These finish when they stop work.
I wonder if men find it easier to speak to women than men which is why my husband found it easy in the centre.
The staff at the day centre thought it was important to start the day with the news but they would always get The Sun. We’ve always been Guardian readers. My husband told them, ‘I wouldn’t wipe my bottom on The Sun.’
While he was alive I had a neighbour who refused to talk to either of us because of something my husband had said to him.
I wrote him a note apologising, saying that I valued our friendship, and explaining about the dementia, but from then on he ignored me.
I tried to talk to him at the bus stop and he turned away. Very painful.
Have you been affected by any of these issues?
If you have been affected by any of the issues described in this blog, or simply need someone to reach out to, you can call the Alzheimer's Society helpline for information and advice on 0300 222 1122 or ask a question on their online community 'Talking Point'. If you are a carer like Kate you can also contact Carers UK at 020 7378 4999.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Independent Age.