I care for my wife, Patricia, and have done for many years. Patricia has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), rheumatoid arthritis, spinal stenosis, asthma and some other ailments. She also uses a wheelchair. During the Coronavirus pandemic we were both shielding at home.

I help Patricia with things such as getting dressed and keeping on top of chores around the house. I also like to adapt things to help Patricia. For example, Patricia finds using ordinary cutlery difficult to use, so I have adapted it using handles from hairbrushes I buy from a pound shop. A small hack that can save money on the expensive fully-adapted cutlery that you can buy from mobility shops that we have found useful.

Outside of Covid-19 times, we go out and about in our mobility car to explore the Dorset countryside. We like to visit old churches and have lunch at ‘olde worlde’ pubs, although this can sometimes be a problem with a power chair. I also haven’t been able to get out as much as I used to though due to various ailments of my own.

Staying in because of shielding was isolating, although I took solace from our garden. I’m a very keen gardener and nature lover and one of my passions is growing tomatoes. We both still love our garden and try to make the most of it.

I also love to watch the changes in nature over the year and have set up a couple of nest boxes in the garden complete with cameras. We both have taken great pleasure in watching a family of blue tits and a family of great tits take up residence in the boxes. The camera feed even live streams to our TV so we can watch all the goings on from the comfort of our lounge.

I don’t feel that what I do is particularly extraordinary, but Patricia reminds me it’s because I’ve been doing it now for such a long time. We’ve been together for 58 years and as Patricia adds “we’ve got each other” and that’s what matters.

If you identify with Bob’s story, you may also be a carer. Contact us to discuss ways in which Carer Support Dorset may be able to support you. 

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