After a career in international marketing, I stepped away from corporate life in 2013 and finally took early retirement in 2017 because my wife’s Alzheimer’s had advanced to the stage where she could not cope without my full-time assistance.
I am passionate about helping other carers and since 2018 have spoken publicly at events and in the media about the very many practical aspects of supporting someone living with dementia. In particular, I learnt the importance of compartmentalizing emotion such that I could think clearly about decisions – made as a carer – that needed to be taken in the best interests not only of my wife but also for me and my family. I am a firm believer in early disclosure of dementia to family and friends, employers, banks and other powers that be because this generates not only an understanding but usually the creation of a help infrastructure which is without doubt needed as the disease progresses.
My wife went into care in May 2019 when I could no longer recharge my batteries to look after her, a traumatic decision which nearly all carers will almost certainly have to face but which has to be tackled and investigated months before the need will inevitably arise.