Annie smith Leeds

A diagnosis of alzheimer’s can have a devastating impact not only on the life of the person involved but also their family.

The combination of coming to terms with the news, providing the increasing support needed and the constant worry, can soon start to impact on the health of loved ones.

Sue Corke’s advice to anyone finding themselves in that situation is simple – seek help as soon as you can.

Sue first realised a change in her mum, Annie Smith, a few years ago.

“It started with little things, she became forgetful and repeating the same question over and over,” said Sue.

“She started pacing round the room and the slightest of things would have a deep impact upon her.”

From her time as a student nurse, Sue feared the change in her mum could be the onset of dementia and this was confirmed in 2022 with a diagnosis of alzheimers.

Annie made clear to her family that she wanted to continue to live in the house. A place she had lived for over 50 years with husband Jack before his death in 2018 and where they had raised their four children.

“We wanted that to happen for as long as possible but things were gradually getting worse and worse,” said Sue. “Mum wasn’t eating or looking after herself properly and we are all still working so couldn’t be there 24 hours a day.”

Sue spoke with a friend who works for Caremark Leeds Bradford who came to visit Annie and a plan was drawn up. Sue and other family members still visit every day and help Annie with housework and Caremark visit in the morning and at teatime. The bath has been replaced with a walk-in shower to help with personal washing.

“It gives us peace of mind to know someone is there when we can’t be,” said Sue. “In particular it is re-assuring to know someone is there every morning when we are at work, to check mum has been ok overnight and help her get ready for the day.”

Sue says Annie is happy in her home, describing it as a “safety zone” where she knows the surroundings and feels secure.

Sue adds: “My advice to anyone else finding themselves in this situation would be not to try to take everything on yourself. Seek help as soon as you can, otherwise it gets to the point where it can start to affect your own health which doesn’t help anyone.”


© 2024 Caremark Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Each Caremark Limited franchise office is independently owned and operated.

Designed & built by SandisonPay