Barbara, 85, cares for her husband who has dementia. She and her husband live alone in four bedroom house which Barbara looks after by herself. The only people who come regularly are a cleaner for a few hours and someone from a care agency one afternoon a week. This leaves Barbara caring for her husband round the clock and helping him to wash and dress every day and sorting out food for them both.
Barbara describes the hardest thing as not having anyone to talk to. Her husband forgets things as soon as you say something to him. It’s also hard because of how tired she is, Barbara struggles with her own health and is not 100% and describes it as challenging still having to be constantly running around after her husband.
Although, her husband often sits down throughout the day, Barbara is always alert to things happening or where her husband is. Her house now has alarms fitted on all outside doors since her husband wondered out in the middle of the night. Barbara describes getting a phone call at 4.30am from her neighbour to say her husband was with them and looking to the bed next to her in shock to find it was empty.
Covid-19 has stopped Barbara seeing anyone; she hasn’t even been to the shops since April 2020 and is mostly contained to her house. This has meant not being able to see family either and she misses having people to talk to. She does talk to her neighbours in her cul-de- sac and she enjoys talking to her sons on the phone. She describes how often her sons worry about her and if she’s okay but she reassures them that she is, even when she finds it hard to have any time for herself.
Barbara wishes she could drive to the coast or go for more walks and just have the freedom to go places. This has become so hard for her, as they have had no car since her husband became visually impaired. Walking is hard as well, as her husband is too tired to walk anywhere.