Interview 07

Gradual onset mistaken for depression. Diagnosis given jointly to husband and wife. Slow progression. Problem with restlessness and wandering. Very involved with the local Alzheimers disease society. He tries to involve her in decisions where possible. Treated with Reminyl Sedative, antidepressant, sleeping tablets.

Making the first move resulted in restoring friendships and discovered why people had been reluctant to get in touch.

Learning to be flexible.

Describes how his wife has gradually withdrawn from all domestic responsibilities.

Has found a way to avoid conflict when his wife feels she has to go out.

Describes his reluctance to be underhand with his wife.

Finding ways to get his wife to wash and to change her clothes.

Describes making meal times pleasurable in a way he felt his wife would appreciate.

Taking her in for respite care has got easier each time. Between episodes they discuss the nice things she did there.

Regrets not having joined the Alzheimer’s Society earlier.

Has found the Alzheimer’s Society a great support, although he and his wife are usually fairly insular people.

Could not dream of doing anything other than care for his wife just as she would have cared for him.

Describes how he tailors his wifes sedation according to her condition at the time.

His information needs changed over time – from physiological and psychological explanations to how to manage the caring role.

Initially they found a fair amount of information themselves. Looking back he thinks they should have joined the Alzheimer’s Society earlier.

The specialist informed both him and his wife of her diagnosis. Over time he came to believe this had been appropriate.

Persuades his wife to take her tablets by explaining to her why she needs to take them.

Is in favour of testing if early detection might allow for treatment that could slow the course of the disease.

Describes warning signs and his wifes reluctance to find out what was wrong.