I AM 73 and have been married for 54 years — with one daughter, who lives and works abroad.
My husband is 81 and suffering from vascular dementia. He has expressive dysphasia, incontinence and is almost completely immobile, necessitating two carers calling four times a day.
They are excellent and give me lots of support and in general I am better off than many other people.
But after 15 years of this degenerative disease I am coping very badly. I dread waking in the morning and I am starting to feel very resentful. This is not how I imagined my golden years.
My daughter is a great support and has offered to return home to help with her father’s care (she has already arranged a shorter working year in order to come home more frequently), but I cannot even think of it.
The obvious solution of course is a residential home, but I gave him my word this would never happen.
I try to visit my daughter as often as I can. But the effort and forward planning needed make things very difficult. A counsellor was excellent, but funds ran out, then I was limited to only a few sessions on the NHS.
I have contacted associations such as Age UK, but they seem to miss the point — arranging lovely outings and lunches for carers, but forgetting the need for respite care for loved ones while we arrange our own entertainment!
On the scale of things, we’ve had a good life and perhaps it’s wrong of me to complain, but at the moment I just feel like walking away from it all. Can you help?