George and Betty have been married for 66 years. For most of that time they have lived and worked in the Darnall area; they had a short spell living in Woodhouse but couldn’t settle.
Betty first noticed something was wrong about 4 years ago when George could not complete a job he would normally have done easily. They went to see the GP who referred George to the Memory Clinic; they had to wait a year for an appointment. Betty suspected that George had Alzheimer’s disease after having experienced the disease through family members. She knew that it was going to be hard work but wasn’t prepared for the level of care that George needed or for the heartbreak that it causes.
Betty said that she misses so many things. George was never a romantic but each morning he brought her a cup of tea in bed and would have given her the world if she’d asked for it. He was a good husband, father and grandfather. Betty very much misses having a conversation with George. He has no opinion or comment to make on anything which frustrates Betty. Some days she feels that he is more like an ornament.
Betty can’t share the good times or bad times and has lost her shoulder to cry on. Betty’s own physical health has suffered; she feels at a time when she needs to be at her strongest she is weak and frail.
Betty says that George’s attendance at the DDG has made a lot of difference and she would feel lost without it. She says that she can’t praise the Darnall Dementia Group enough and that it gives her a few hours to do other things even if that is only resting. Betty asks George each time he attends if he has had a nice lunch, he can’t remember but Betty knows that she can trust and rely on the staff at Darnall Dementia Group. Betty knows that changes will be coming but is desperate for the day care to continue; she feels that is good for George and her. Betty said that if she was in good health she would love to be a volunteer at the group joining in the dancing and events but her physical frailty means that this is not possible.
Betty said they don’t look to the future; they haven’t anything to look forward to. They live day by day. Her only wish is that George passes away before her so that she will have the comfort of knowing that he is safe.
Betty feels that when George was given his diagnosis, dementia took her life as well. After this life time together they remain a couple and Betty is determined that George will receive the best care possible.