Thursday, June 12, 2014

I gave up my career to care for my grandmother who has Alzheimer’s

When her grandmother developed dementia, Sophie Howarth, 26, quit her job and moved in as her carer – it was the best decision she ever made.

Of all the things you expect to be doing when you’re a 23-year-old ­graduate with a great job (and even better prospects), giving it all up to move in with your gran to care for her full time isn’t one of them.

Especially if your 85-year-old gran has severe ­dementia.

But that’s what happened to me and what an eye-opener it has been, profoundly changing my personality, my career path and my whole attitude to life.

Dementia is relentless, depressing and debilitating. And that’s just for the carer.

There were days, in the months after I’d moved from a busy London life to be with my gran in Hadfield, a small Derbyshire village, that I wondered if I, myself, had done the right thing.

I was very low. Gran would ask the same question again and again and again.

If I dared have a quick shower, I would often get the inevitable phone call. ‘Your gran’s outside the post office in her nightie, love’.

This was a job harder than any ­employer could have thrown at me and it was 24/7, with a care allowance income of just £53 a week.

+Alzheimer's Reading Room
+Bob DeMarco
+Dementia Reading Room