Mature woman with curly hair against a green background.
Our carers respite service provides activities for older people, people with support needs, and those living with dementia. We spoke to Laura about how the service has supported her and her husband, Norman.

Norman was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2017.

After his diagnosis the first few years were fine, but since the pandemic, it’s really taken its toll. The sudden change of routine was really difficult for him to manage and at points it was too much for him to try and take in.

So, there’s been a steady decline over the last two years, and it got to the point where I was gradually doing more and more. I went to my doctor for some support, and it was around then that I found out about Independent Lives and the carers respite service.

Norman and I have been married for 35 years, before his diagnosis he was a civil engineer and had a really bubbly personality and was a lot of fun to be around. The respite service gives him the opportunity to be around other people and you can see a little bit more of his old self come out.

How has Norman’s diagnosis affected Laura?

It’s affected me more recently than it has in the past. It’s not really a case of being in denial, but the more that I have to do for Norman means that it’s coming home to me how things are progressing and it’s quite scary.

How has the carers respite service made a difference?

It’s been a godsend. It works for both of us, because Norman really loves being outside every day and it’s given me the break that I really need and allows me go shopping, have coffee with my girlfriends and just have some time to myself, which is really important because the more you do, the more you need to unwind.

The service gives me time some time on my own to do what I want to do and means that for a short time all the worry and stress disappears. And most importantly Norman always comes back smiling.

Independent Lives provides activities for older people, people with support needs, and those living with dementia. The support we provide allows carers some time and space for themselves. To find out more about our carers respite service, please click here.