My husband Paul and I have two adult sons. Until 2017, I was a freelance museum conservator and he was a fine art and antiques valuer for a London auction house. We were both passionate about our work and leisure interests. After a couple of disturbing years of increasing behavioural issues and seemingly medical indifference, Paul was finally diagnosed with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, the most common of the rare dementias that primarily affects younger people.
By chance a friend put me in touch with Dementia Carers Count, we attended a pilot training course; ‘me you dementia too’. The expert resilience training from specialist therapists taught me vital coping strategies. I gleaned a better understanding of dementia in all its forms and felt stronger than I had in over a year. I would have the courage to cope. I accepted that I had no choice and was so inspired, I decided to become an Ambassador for the charity.
I have joined the Carers Advisory Panel, hopefully to offer my practical and pragmatic approach to problem solving, a few ideas and a bit of ‘thinking outside of the box’. Bringing my thirty years’ experience of preserving extremely fragile and often unstable archaeological artefacts!
I specifically want to raise awareness of DCC’s support in helping carers cope with particularly challenging circumstances.