June my lovely wife has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for about 10 years now, and is in the advanced stage. She is now bed and chair bound needing 24 hour care. I took early retirement to start my own business, but as June’s illness progressed my business had to take a back seat. The early stages were in a way harder to deal with as it was all on an emotional level. Now things are more on a physical level dealing with June’s needs feeding, toileting and every aspect of June’s day.
A typical day is my breakfast, carers get June showered and dressed. June’s breakfast then shopping for 2 dinners as June is vegetarian. Then it is lunch time my lunch then prepare and help with June’s lunch. Carers arrive to assist with a toilet break. Afternoon drink Washing usually 2 loads cleaning and paperwork you wouldn’t believe the amount of form filling invoice filling and paperwork required. Then prepare 2 dinners, I eat then help June with dinner, pudding repeat performance followed by medication and bedtime drink.
Dealing with this has to be by far the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. It is very emotionally draining 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Even on respite days my thoughts are always for June and her needs. I nearly always put on a front saying I can cope, but behind closed door things are different. I am not someone who gets depressed but it wears you down, emotionally I feel a broken man tears are always not far away. For some reason preparing dinner is the low point, I wish I had a pound for every dinner I have prepared with tears rolling down my face. Without the support of my daughter, son in law, my mum and Junes parents I would have cracked years ago.
It’s very hard to settle down to anything the ability to do “normal” things has been affected. I miss the social aspects of life, poor June can’t now talk and the only conversation is a short telephone with friends and family.
I know this all sounds as though I am depressed, but on the contrary I think I deal with it all very well. Most of the above feelings are underlying and 95% of the time I am happy. This is just a quick insight to my life and if any of this has hit a point and you would like to communicate please do. email@example.com