Two thirds of people with dementia in the UK are living within the community, which means thousands of families and friends are supporting someone close to them with this devastating disease. In Leeds there are 5,800 people with dementia known and with a diagnosis.
National Dementia’s Carer’s Day which took place on Sunday 13 September, raises awareness of the supporting role of informal dementia carers who are dedicated to improving quality of life for those living with dementia, and also the quality of life of those caring for a loved one living with the condition. The progressive nature of dementia means it can often be challenging, and for many carers, lead to feelings of isolation.
Seventy-six year old Pat is one of those carers, here is her story.
Pat’s life has always been one of caring for others – she was a ward sister at High Royds hospital, a community psychiatric nurse and then a part-time care worker. In fact, you could say caring is the family business: Pat’s mum, Dorothy, was a school nurse, her children are in nursing and two of her grandchildren are student nurses.
Pat is one of those “informal” carers – she cared for her husband who sadly died two years ago and with the support of the wonderful staff at Brooklands she continues to care for her 96 year-old mum Dorothy who has dementia.
In this video Pat tells us about her mother and the experience of being a carer for someone living with dementia.