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Man writes book about his wife's struggle with dementia

Man writes book about his wife's struggle with dementia
27th February 2014

A retired chartered engineer from Bromley has written a book about his experiences looking after his wife, who has dementia.

Tom Wearden's Front Line Alzheimer's, tells how he has to provide care to wife Margaret around the clock and explains the heartbreaking reality of losing a loved one to such a devastating condition.

The 83-year-old revealed to This is Local London that he hasn't had a meaningful conversation with his wife for more than a decade.

He hopes putting his experiences into print will help others who find themselves in the same situation as well as provide an insight to medical professionals and social workers.

"I hope that these notes about my experiences as a 24/7 carer for Margaret help to explain what real life is like for many family carers who spend most of their time at the front line," he said.

Linda Gabriel, chair of the Bromley branch of the charity Mind, said that caring for a relative with dementia is a very demanding task and Mr Wearden's novel will benefit everyone involved in looking after those with cognitive conditions.

Last month, a documentary was released charting how Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson battled with dementia in the years leading up to his passing on Boxing Day 2013.

Produced by Fanderson, the puppet master's official appreciation society, the films show Mr Anderson discussion his health with his son Jamie.

Mr Anderson, who also brought children's favourites Joe 90, Captain Scarlet and Stingray to our televisions during the 1960s, tells how his memory had been failing him for more than ten years, but he merely dismissed it as part of getting older.

One particularly heartbreaking moment in the film comes when Jamie reveals his father no longer recognises him.

The final scenes were shot after Mr Anderson's death and see Jamie discussing the difficulties faced when his father had to go into a home shortly before he passed away.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.