Year of Wellbeing Blog: Hannah's story

Everyone has their own story to share about ways they have found to care for their own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of other people.

A team of bloggers have agreed to describe their personal journey. We hope their stories help and inspire others during our Year of Wellbeing.

 

Hannah’s story...

Hannah is our Dementia Action Week (May 20-26) blogger. She receives signposting and advice from a worker at Coventry Alzheimer’s Society, goes to the gym once a week, has joined a care and share group run by Heart of England Carer’s Trust and also goes along to their fortnightly sessions.

All of this is to help her care for her husband, and it is also to help her take care of herself.

She has asked us to change her name and not to use a picture of her, as she knows she and her husband would find it difficult if everyone knew their situation. She isn't sure she would be able to explain to him what this blog was so that he understood why it was being published.

She has got the fullest medical information she can get from the various specialists available, and has ensured her adult children are fully aware of the current situation and the support their father needs.

She has done all of this to ensure she can get the best help available for herself and her family, because her husband has been diagnosed as suffering with dementia.

When you get a diagnosis of dementia…

“When you get a diagnosis of dementia, your world changes. I am now a full-time carer for my husband. We had a number of appointments. They carried out a lot of tests and asked all kinds of questions. I got great help from the NHS and the Alzheimer’s Society. Eventually they were able to confirm it was dementia. Nothing can make the disease go away, but we have been better able to manage my husband’s condition.

“Usually my husband remembers everything, but during 2017 we all began to notice that he was behaving differently. They were just little things. He was asking questions, being impatient, getting angry quite a lot and pacing up and down, all things he hadn’t done so much before.

“We managed to get him to go to the doctor, but it was many months before he finally got a brain scan and they were able to confirm his diagnosis. Until then I think even he didn’t believe there was anything wrong. Now we know he has mixed dementia, a combination of vascular and Alzheimer’s.

“I have been able to get very good advice from professionals. But when the worst case scenario of his future health was explained to me I was in shock, and it was several months before I could talk to anyone outside the family about it.

“All the same, we have had to try to carry on as normally as possible. It can be so hard. You can sometimes feel like you are on your own. Sometimes he just talks and talks and talks, and it can be very hard to relax when he is like that.

“It was only earlier this year I recognised I needed to get help for myself, too. As a result I am now on anti-depressant medication, and that has definitely helped me stay calm, which means not only do I feel better, but I am better able to care for my husband.

“Thanks to all of this help, I think we have all been able to manage better than we would have done otherwise. We are having to be more patient with him and I think that has all helped us cope, too. You work out what to do. But it is hard.”

 

Click here to find out more about Coventry and Warwickshire's Year of Wellbeing 2019.

 

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