Dementia not only affects the individuals – but also those caring for them.
Figures from the Carers Trust show one in ten people is a carer.
The charity wants people to hold fundraising breakfasts to raise money to support unpaid carers and give them a break – through a network of carer centres and schemes.
Val Seare, 75 from Ferring, cares for her husband of 52 years, Tony.
Tony, 78, had a stroke in 2013 and has since been diagnosed with vascular dementia.
His condition means Val has to do most things for her husband and he gets anxious and agitated.
Val said: “The dementia is the hardest to deal with. We’ve lost friends. Maybe people don’t know what to say or how to be. But friends have stopped visiting us,” said Val.
“Which is a shame as Tony really needs male company and conversation. He was, and is, an extremely intelligent man. He was full of life. It changed overnight.
“Now sometimes I see him staring into space and wonder ‘where are you?’
“Tony gets very anxious if I am not close by, so I care for him around the clock.”
Val said she has had two evenings out in two and a half years.
“Thanks to Crossroads, a carer comes twice a week for two hours so I can get out and do the shopping or go to the bank – things I can’t do with Tony,” she added.
In earlier life, Tony enjoyed a career as a dental surgeon, was a keen fisherman and was a member of the England squash team.
Val added: “Once a week we try to go to the local pub with our few remaining loyal friends.
“The staff there thoughtfully cut up Tony’s food before bringing it out to the table, saving him the humiliation of me cutting it up for him. It’s little things like that which make the difference.
“We’ve worked hard all of our lives and enjoyed a comfortable life, but all of our savings are going on Tony’s care. I do worry.
“As a pensioner I am not entitled to any Carer’s Allowance, which I do think is unfair.”
Gail Scott-Spicer, chief executive of the Carers Trust, said: “Many tell us they often don’t even have time for breakfast, missing out on an essential time of the day. With your help, Carers Trust can help ease the pressure on those that care unpaid, and provide them with breaks, support and advice.”
For more information about the campaign text egg to 70660 or visit www.britainsbestbreakfast.org
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