You Are Not Alone
I am a carer for my aunt who recently received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia. Our family had suspected for some time that there was something going on with aunties’ memory. We were fortunate to have input from a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse), who advised, informed and supported us in getting a diagnosis for my aunt.
Her ability to manage day to day tasks, appointments, medication was all becoming more difficult for her and eventually took its toll during lockdown. My sister and I wanted to do everything we could to ensure she was safe and well. This did not come without an impact on our own health. Many a night we sat racking our brains on how we could best support her. Her safety at home was paramount but after a hospital admission we were faced with the reality that it was not safe for her to return to her own house living alone.
Coming to terms with the reality of our aunt moving into care was so emotional for us. We had the extremely difficult task of identifying a suitable care home equipped to support residents with a dementia diagnosis. I have to admit there were many times I felt uptight, stressed and guilty.
I heard about tide – together in dementia everyday through a friend and initially I wondered if this was somewhere that would help support me in my caring role. Both myself and my sister became members in September last year and we both continue to sing their praises. During lockdown I have accessed many of tide activities, such as their coffee mornings where what the staff and carers have given me is difficult to put into words. I have benefited from the training sessions I have attended. I don’t know where my sister and I would be without tide and without meeting other carers. Hearing from others what works for them and recognizing I am not alone has really helped. Having met both male and female carers with a wealth of experience of caring has inspired me and given me hope and the confidence to advocate for my aunt to make sure she has the best quality of life living with dementia.
I wanted to share my story and say to other carers you are not alone. I have met so many lovely people through tide. tide has also signposted me to places such as my local carers centre, given me information on grants, power of attorney and given me hints and tips to plan for meetings with confidence. My confidence is growing and I will continue to spread the word on the importance of carers having their voices heard. tide has been a lifeline to me!