My Admiral Nurse: a ‘lighthouse in the storm’

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Mike Siddall_B&W photos 4&5
Mike and Chris aged 17

More than 7,000 families living with dementia are now receiving the specialist support of a local Admiral Nurse, but there are many more families that need our help. Mike cares for his wife Chris, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2009. This is his personal experience: 

“Caring for a loved one with dementia can be lonely. But thanks to Dementia UK, I have one-to-one support and expert advice from Matthew, my local Admiral Nurse. He helps me to make the most of each day and find the energy I need to keep going. That’s why it feels important to share my story, because I know I’d be lost without Matthew’s support.

Chris and I were childhood sweethearts. We got married at 21, and Chris made a wonderful wife, teacher, mother and grandmother. I first started seeing changes in Chris in 2006 when she started to lack confidence and didn’t want to be left alone. Slowly Chris was able to do less and less on her own and we received a diagnosis of dementia in 2009.

I was determined to care for Chris as well as she had for our family. As her condition progressed, however, I found myself under immense pressure, both physically and emotionally. For two long years, I struggled to cope. It was one of my daughters who finally persuaded me to turn to our GP, who introduced me to Matthew, an Admiral Nurse dedicated to helping families living with dementia in our area of Yorkshire.

Matthew explained that he was there to look after me even though I’m not the one who is ill. He taught me how diverse dementia is, how it constantly changes, and that every family situation is unique.

He led me through the maze of agencies and services I’d never heard of before, introducing me to people who make life a little easier for families like ours.

Like a lighthouse in the storm, Matthew stands by me every step of the way, reassuring me and directing me to the help I need. He is always easy to talk to and his advice and support has helped me to regain my confidence.

Now I feel I can cope with the ever-changing demands that Chris’s dementia presents, making me a better carer for her. I believe Admiral Nurses bring hope to families in desperate need. They should be given out on prescription!

Without people like you, Admiral Nurses wouldn’t be there for families like mine. So, if you can, please help Dementia UK to reach more of the people who need the life-changing support that an Admiral Nurse can bring. Thank you.”

Please make a donation today and help more families like Mike’s get the support of an Admiral Nurse. 

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