kirklees customers

When dementia strikes it can have a devastating effect not only on the individual but also on their family. And no matter how devoted and caring relatives are, there comes a point where home care support becomes a necessity. Anne Howarth and her sisters faced that dilemma when deciding how best to look after their father, Roger Matthews

Roger, 82, had been fit and active all his life, building up a successful construction business and devoted to his passion for motorsport.

But a bad crash during a race in his fifties was to have catastrophic consequences for Roger. Paralyzed for weeks in hospital, he battled back in typical style to regain mobility however his family believe the crash caused brain trauma that led to the early onset of dementia.

“Dad was a very active guy who never stood still. He was up early for work, back for a bite of tea then into the garage working on his cars,” said Anne.

“That’s why the reduced mobility and dementia made such a difference to him, he was used to being independent and in charge.”

Anne and her two sisters continued to care for their dad. One of them moved in with him but it didn’t work out and so they turned to home care support and switched to Caremark Kirklees after problems with the first company they tried.

“The first company seemed more focused on the companionship side of things whereas Caremark seemed more aware of how best to care for someone with dementia” said Anne.

“They had a deep understanding of the condition and could see to his needs and also appreciated dad wanted to be as independent as possible. They were very good, they treated him as an individual and like an adult. That was very important because dad is very strong-willed and still thinks he is 35.”

Our carers visited Roger regularly to check he was ok, help with washing and dressing, food preparation and domestic tasks. Anne said the combination of the family and Caremark Kirklees working in tandem to support Roger worked well but sadly after a year it became clear his condition had deteriorated further.

“Cameras in the house showed us that when dad was alone he became confused, he couldn’t get dressed properly, switch the lights on and wasn’t eating or drinking,” said Anne.“ It was such a worrying time for us knowing if something went wrong dad would not have been able to use the phone to call for help.”

The family took the decision for Roger to move into a residential care home with 24-hour care available.

The whole experience means Anne has first-hand advice to share with others going through similar difficult times.

She said the family initially felt very alone in the whole process. With hindsight she feels the GP they spoke to wasn’t much help and they should have contacted Age UK or specialist dementia support groups as soon as Roger’s condition was recognized. 

She also advises looking around for appropriate home care support. “If, like us, you find the first company doesn’t work out be aware there are other options out there that might be a better fit,” said Anne.


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