My wife is no longer the kind girl I married 40 years ago because of dementia – The Sun

DEAR DEIDRE: TWO years ago my lovely wife was diagnosed with dementia. Sadly, she is no longer the kind, thoughtful girl I married 40 years ago.

I am 69 and have my own health problems but I am her carer. She’s 67.

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I noticed changes in her behaviour – not listening to others, being aggressive towards me.

I got her to have a check-up and tests showed she had dementia. But she is in denial.

She can still wash and dress herself, cook and clean but cannot hold a conversation.

She won’t go to a day centre and I have help for just two hours one morning a week.

None of her siblings offer support.

DEIDRE SAYS: It can be tougher on loved ones than on the person with dementia.

You are loyal and caring but do need respite – or your health will suffer, with knock-on effects on your wife.

Spell out to her siblings that you need help.

They may worry about open-ended demands, so be specific.

Ask them to rota coming round Sunday afternoons, for instance.

Get practical support from Dementia UK and its specialist Admiral Nurses, who can advise on respite care (, 0800 888 6678).

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