Monthly Archives: April 2012

In the shoes of Karen… supporting both of my parents with dementia…

Coping with Dementia — not once but twice
Posted on April 25, 2012
Last week there was a wonderful live discussion on the topic of dementia, hosted by Jessica Fuhl, on the Guardian Social Care network.  It is a subject very close to my heart, particularly having experienced both  of  my parents-in-law dying as a result of dementia. The discussion had a very rich mix of “perspectives” but for me the most powerful and illuminating comments came from family members sharing how it feels to “walk in their shoes”.

In this series of occasional “guest blogs” I am therefore very honoured to introduce you to ‘Karen’ (not her real name). Some of you will know Karen as ‘DazeinourLives’ on Twitter, posting regularly “nuggets” of information, moving insights into family life supporting both of her parents with dementia. This post was written shortly before Karen’s father’s recent death.

Karen expected to return to her palliative care nursing career once both children were at school, but her parents’ Alzheimer’s escalated. For the next three years she was their sole carer. As her Dad’s symptoms advanced, her Mum was unable to cope, even with Karen’s help. Karen  comments:
“The impact on my own complicated family became intolerable, not least for my long-suffering husband. Last Spring, Dad was hospitalised; it became heartbreakingly clear that it would no longer be safe for him to return home. Dad went into a nursing home, and we found Mum part time help at home. Mum’s mental deterioration, which she does not accept graciously, combined with her need to see Dad every day without fail keeps the pressure on…

Royal Wedding grants for carers

GROUPS supporting carers will receive grants from the Royal Wedding Fund.

Published 26 Apr 2012 12:30


Bracknell Forest Voluntary Action (BFVA) will receive £4,000 and Wokingham, Bracknell and District Mencap will receive £2,000.

The money has been distributed by Berkshire Community Foundation, a grant-making charity, which was one of 26 organisations chosen by Prince William and Catherine Middleton to benefit from a charitable gift fund set up to mark their wedding in April last year. Staff and trustees met on Friday to choose 13 voluntary groups.

Chris Bounds, care services manager at BFVA, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded money from the Royal Wedding Fund! Our £4,000 grant will supplement the services that we provide to unpaid, informal adult carers in Bracknell Forest borough. We will be setting up regular events to allow carers to socialise and benefit from the peer support that they get from each other.”

Disabled woman left without care

Miss Milner suffers from spinal problems and is often bedbound.


Janis Milner

Published on Thursday 26 April 2012 08:50

A DISABLED woman has been left lying in her own urine and faeces after her care support was suddenly stopped.

Janis Milner, 33, of Stainland, has been tearful and distressed since being left without any dignity since Saturday.

She is incontinent and has little control over her bowel movements.

Her commode was left overflowing and she has had to use her washing-up bowl.