Anita cares for her husband. He has a diagnosis of dementia and was diagnosed about four years ago and prior to lock down they went out somewhere every day.
They are involved with the church and helped with things there. They also used public transport a lot and travelled to Nottingham and all over, they were always busy. Anita said that her husband was doing really well. She had not told anyone about his diagnosis and said that no-one had noticed as he was doing well and even played bingo without anyone noticing.
I have spoken to Anita on at least six occasions during the lock down period. She said that she found it really helpful to talk as, having not told people, she had no-one to ask if things were ‘normal’ or what she can expect. She feels that over the weeks he has deteriorated a lot and now just wants to go to sleep after breakfast.
One of the biggest changes has been night time when he is now up in the night a lot more and is disorientated about where the bathroom is and has started not making it to the toilet or not understanding he is not in the toilet. We have talked at length about different things that can help. I encouraged Anita to contact her GP to talk about this also. There may be options for a change of medication or equipment that may help in the form of a bottle or commode in the bedroom. I suggested it is also worth checking if her husband had a UTI. I have also raised with her the support that the Alzheimer’s Society can offer but Anita has so far has resisted having a referral.
Anita has now contacted the GP and has a bottle and a commode in the bedroom. This has helped as her husband has started to use the bottle in the night. Her husband did have a UTI that has been treated. This has not stopped him getting up in the night but has helped a little.
We have talked a lot about whether Anita wants to start to tell people about her husband’s diagnosis. They are involved with various groups and to continue with them would be difficult without them knowing. She had also not told family members. Following our conversations Anita has now, over the weeks, started to tell people about the diagnosis. She has told some family members and has told some friends within the church. She also told her neighbour who has offered support. Anita said she feels better now she has started to talk about it. She also feels now that, when things ease up, she will consider a referral to the Alzheimer’s Society and some groups for them to be involved in.
Aside from all this Anita has also had two brothers die during the lock down period. She has also found it difficult that her husband has started to look for people that died a number of years ago and it has been a very emotional time for her. She has said that being able to get in touch and talk things through has really helped. I have made Anita aware of other support including the AS Talking Points. DCA will continue to support.