For Dementia Action week on 16th May 2022, we want to look into how this disease can impact people’s lives.
Christine Forskitt tells her story on what it is like to care for her husband David, who was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She describes how our charity partner Age UK Northamptonshire has been a life line in helping her care for David.
Christine Forskitt’s husband David, is 82 years old and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease four years ago, but she says it is easy to see in hindsight that he had been having difficulties for a while. “We were very happy together but we’re the sort of couple that always had our own hobbies and interests. We were not Howard and Hilda,” says Christine. “So it has been quite a change for us to have to spend all our time together.”
Covid and the lockdown changed things dramatically for 78 year old Christine. “I felt very cut off and isolated. Even though I have a son and daughter living in Northampton, we weren’t able to see them for such a long time. It has been very difficult.
“My daughter-in-law suggested we contact Age UK Northamptonshire because she knew about the day centre there. Things had become hard to manage and I needed a regular break. David enjoys coming here and always smiles when I ask if he’s had a good time. He can’t remember what he’s done, or what he had for lunch, but he has never once said he didn’t want to go.”
“I feel so sad I have lost the real David. Sometimes I look at David and don’t recognise my husband of nearly 60 years. When I feel bogged down, I have to remember all the wonderful things David has done over the years, the happy memories I have of him as a father and grandfather, as well as a husband, even fairly recently.”
“I feel so lucky to have the day centre. It brings benefits for both of us. He enjoys going three days a week and always feels happier after he’s been. Now that his condition is deteriorating, he’s not able to do very much on the days that he’s not at the day centre. He gets very tired after even a short walk. I am so grateful and glad to do anything I can to help Age UK Northamptonshire.”
If you have been affected by Christine’s story and need support, head to the Age UK Northamptonshire website here for more information on their services and how they can help.