Hello, I’m Colin and here’s my story about having support networks and looking after myself…
After Val’s diagnosis we joined a Living with Memory Loss course run through Dementia Australia. There were eight couples, so 16 people in the group. Most of us decided to stay in touch and about 10 of us still get together pretty regularly.
It was difficult last year with the COVID restrictions, but the carers still managed to Skype. Towards the end of last year, we started meeting up again. We go to a restaurant for lunch, or we meet at each other’s houses. It’s good for carers to share with one another.
We’re all going through something similar, but there’s no two dementias the same and everyone has different problems and challenges. We share, we laugh we cry and give each other good advice. I know I always have someone to talk to who understands.
I’ve been lucky to have family support and friends. I try to keep involved in my own work interests as long as it doesn’t interfere with Val’s care. It’s important to keep going with your own personal interests and skills. It helps you to stay confident.
During the pandemic and as Val needs more support I’m working from home every day. I swim every day of the year. It’s funny, but it’s such a release. It’s time for me, and it makes Val happy too.