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Dementia Action Week: ‘I am living with dementia too’ – Louise Petcher, Service Quality Manager, HealthNet Homecare

This year, the theme of Dementia Action Week is diagnosis. Memory loss being seen as a sign of normal ageing is the biggest barrier to people seeking a dementia diagnosis. Getting a diagnosis can be daunting, but 91% of people affected by dementia feel it’s better to know.

Here’s Louise’s story:

“When I lost my lovely Mum back in February 2021, everything literally changed overnight.

As well as trying to come to terms with her loss, me and my family became responsible for my Mums partner of 37 years.

As he battles with dementia and tries to make sense of the world, every day is hard for him.

It’s heart-breaking to see him struggling with the central heating control- forgetting how it works when he was once a fitter at a large brewery – well known for his precision and detail.

Some days we laugh together as he recounts stories from the past in minute detail. Some days we cry together as he forgets that Mum is gone.

The guilt can be overwhelming, as whatever I do doesn’t seem enough – the sadness is overwhelming – it can be draining.

I think about Des’s dementia every day, from when I first wake up – he is constantly on my mind. With all this said, I would not change a thing, I made my Mum a promise and I will keep it.

When you love someone with Dementia it impacts on everything- it changes everything.

‘I am living with dementia too’ ” – Louise Petcher, Service Quality Manager, HealthNet Homecare