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"As I’m writing our story, my Gran has moved into permanent care in an aged care facility due to her dementia. 18 months ago she was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's, after having been misdiagnosed some months earlier by a doctor who said she was 'just showing signs of getting older'. So the side effects of her disease has been slowly progressing over the past 3-4 years. Her husband has been her primary carer as they were still living together without any additional support or care.
"Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve 2018, Pop had a fall resulting in 3 brain bleeds and a fractured skull. 2 weeks later he then had another bleed which was diagnosed as a stroke. He was in the ICU for 6 weeks, then moved to the Stroke ward and finally into the rehabilitation part of the medical centre. Today marks 7 weeks he has been in hospital.
"Since his fall, our family has taken on the role of being Gran's full time carer. Christmas Day really opened our eyes to just how much Pop was doing to care and look after Gran. We were not aware of just how much she had deteriorated. Over the past 7 weeks, predominantly between my parents and I, one of us has been with her 24/7 ensuring she is safe. We have needed to cook, clean, shower and assist with everyday tasks, while continuously reminding her of Pop's situation as unfortunately she often does not remember it."
"I saw the Memory Walk & Jog on Facebook and straight away signed our family up to participate and fundraise. I chose a goal of $500, but thought to myself, honestly if we can raise $100 I will be over the moon. To date we have raised just under $2,000! We are taking part as, through our experience with dementia and the effects it's had on our family, we believe it is so important to raise awareness of the disease and the impact it has on families and loved ones of those diagnosed.
"Our fundraising has really been boosted through simply sharing a post with the link to the fundraising page. We have been blown away by the support and donations from family, friends, work colleagues and simply people from our community in Murray Bridge.
"The past 7 weeks have been very hard in many ways, and particularly emotionally for all of us. But through being a part of a community supporting Dementia Australia, in their fundraising, raising awareness, research and support, we have found something to positively focus on in relation to dementia.
"Gran herself is blown away by the support we have been given through our fundraising, and the most special part of it all is simply brightening her day!"
Salter's Soldiers are taking part in the Adelaide Memory Walk & Jog on Sunday 17 March.
Sponsor Salter's Soldiers
If you or anyone you know needs assistance with coping with dementia, or if these stories cause any distress, please call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.
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