When Dorothy became her husband’s carer, our Admiral Nurse service stepped in to provide practical advice, and emotional and psychological support.
Dorothy lives in Swansea with her husband Angus, who has several health problems including bipolar disorder, vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s.
He has also been diagnosed recently with post-traumatic stress disorder, which the family believe stems from a tragic incident he witnessed in the Army while serving in Libya.
“Caring for Angus impacts my life massively,” says Dorothy.
"His long-term memory is brilliant – he can talk about his time in the Army until the cows come home! But, he can’t tell you what happened yesterday."
Dorothy also has to help Angus with his physical needs like getting his shoes and socks on.
"If he falls, I’m on my own and it’s not easy for me to help him up," she says.
"When you’re on your own with somebody like that, you have to become really self-reliant."
"I was put in touch with Helen, and she is just wonderful," says Dorothy.
"She talks to me about dementia, how it works, and has given me a lot of information I didn’t know.
"That helps me cope because I can understand what Angus is doing.
"We don’t just talk about Angus, we talk about crafting and our similar interests, which I don’t normally get to talk to about with anybody.
"I also talk to her about feeling lonely," she adds.
"I can have all the children here and still feel a bit lonely, and she understands that."
Carers are often side-lined... But Helen is all about how I’m feeling.
Our Admiral Nurse team were also able to help organise financial advice and support for Dorothy and Angus when they were hit with unexpected moving costs.
"We moved into a rental property which we were told was a long-term let. Unfortunately, after 6 months we were told we had to leave," says Dorothy.
"The removal costs were going to be around £2,000 and I just didn’t have it."
Dorothy’s Admiral Nurse stepped in and got in touch with our support team.
"They gave us the £200 I was missing – it was such a relief because I was worried I would have to go to the bank and ask for the money.
"The help I’ve been given is just amazing."