“I was diagnosed with dementia a year ago, but it started about 15 years ago when I couldn’t remember how to get home,” said Michael, a retired civil servant. “I lost interest in going out and in playing golf. I no longer enjoyed it, I would get two thirds of the way around the course and feel really tired.”

His wife Valerie first became familiar with Alzheimer’s Support as a volunteer at its day club in Sidmouth Street Devizes. “I played scrabble with club members and made the teas and coffees,” she said. “I was always really sympathetic to people with dementia and then it happened to us.”

Now Michael has been diagnosed, she has benefited from the work of the charity herself by attending its Training Course for Carers in October 2019. “I understand dementia more now,” she said. As well as learning about communicating, managing problems at home, financial and legal matters and helping carers to care for themselves, Valerie says she gained from meeting other people in a similar situation. “When I meet up with my friends I don’t really feel I can have a moan as everyone has their own problems. At the course we could all talk about our own situations and learned from each other.  I really appreciated it.”

 “We already had power of attorney in place, but not to be instigated. However, during the course a representative from Goughs the solicitors made us think about a lasting power of attorney and being more medically organised,” said Valerie. “I don’t have a crystal ball so I don’t know how the dementia will develop, but it’s all about thinking ahead. 

“I’d recommend the course to everyone.”