“The therapy sessions are very beneficial because for a short period of time you can slip off into your own world. As a carer I need all the help I can get,“ says Ian Braithwaite, of Keighley, who is using his Carer’s Wellbeing Grant for relaxing massage sessions.
The 65-year-old was until recently a full-time carer for wife, Kathleen, 77, who has Alzheimer’s. She has now moved into a care home.
“The hardest part of being a carer is the feeling of solitude and sometimes loneliness which isn’t always a bad thing because when Kath falls asleep during the day I try my best to recharge my batteries”
“We don’t know what is going on in the mind of a dementia sufferer but I’m sure loneliness and fear are there in big lumps, also the uncertainty of what’s around the next corner.
“I never thought when I retired I would have been working harder than I’ve ever worked before – it’s very demanding; physically and mentally.”
Kathleen began experiencing memory loss ten years ago and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years later.
“The next time I see a young mother looking frayed around the edges I’ll think again. Cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, bathing, being a social secretary, etc. certainly isn’t easy. Just like those young mothers I do everything for my 77-year-old ‘child’,” says Ian.
Ian was a Trooper with a tank regiment in the army, based in Catterick then Germany. He worked as a security guard before retirement.
- cwb grant