Me and Linda have been together for 26 years. Linda was diagnosed with dementia in 2017, but looking back now I believe Linda started with early signs in 2000. I was only in my 40’s when Linda started with signs of dementia, when you are younger I personally think it is worse, you loose so much together. People think you have a partner, which I do but it is very lonely. There is little communication and conversation.

Besides the support I get from The Poppy Day Centre, I am Linda’s sole carer and support her 24/7. Before the pandemic Linda visited The Poppy Day Centre 4 times a week, this helped me have time to go to work, run errands, do chores & get a little me time. I try to get me time when Linda is at home too, my me time is chilling out in my man cave listening to CDS. Music is my favourite.

Linda has attended the Poppy Day Centre for 3 years, before I retired I would drop Linda of every morning and pick her up after work. Once I pick Linda up from the Poppy, I try to keep her entertained until bed time. You have to have a routine as you are doing things for two people. The reality is, it does become like a job.

I do still try and make time to socialise but it is now different. Before the pandemic I would visit my close friend in Chester. Our daughter, would care for her mum, they would get lots of treats in and their favourite tea.

I am also part of a Carers group which meets regularly by zoom. I have a lot of friends in the carers community and we have supported one another through the pandemic and difficult times.

During lockdown the ladies & George from The Poppy Day Centre visited our home twice a week, this allowed me time to get out for a walk and do general day to day things. It is hard to stimulate someone with dementia, but the ladies and George were great. From dancing around the living room, to hand massages, to making cards & watching Christmas films on Netflix. Linda especially enjoyed watching films on netflix and sometimes now I will pop one on for her. The staff from the Poppy Day Centre were fabulous!

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