Dartmouth Caring – John & Betty’s story

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John & Betty first received help from Dartmouth Caring when John started to have problems with his memory. The charity initially helped them both to gain Attendance Allowance, Carer’s Health & Wellbeing Checks with the NHS, called in an Occupational Therapist assessment and provided a friendly place for support, as well as information and advice about dealing with dementia.

Both John and Betty visited Dartmouth Caring’s Memory Café. The cafe provides practical information and support, as well as the opportunity for people with dementia, their families and carers to ask questions and to listen to other people’s experiences. It also offers an informal and social environment in which to learn new skills, and undertake meaningful activities. Betty and John found the Memory Café particularly helpful, talking to others at a different part of the journey.

As John’s health sadly declined, John and Betty realised they needed to make plans for the future and Dartmouth Caring assisted with getting a Power of Attorney in place. The charity also provided a Sitting Service and helped organised Take a Break vouchers through Devon Carers. Take a Break is a subsidised scheme which gives carers across Devon flexible daytime or evening breaks from their caring responsibilities. This helped Betty enormously as she needed to have some time to herself as John required constant support and care.

Dartmouth Caring ensured that Betty didn’t feel alone by calling and making home visits and she knew she could rely on them for emotional and practical help. They also ensured that sensors were in place and more equipment to help them at home.

As John’s health progressively got worse, Dartmouth Caring assisted with getting a day-care place for him, and then ultimately into a local home. They provided financial advice and support during this time.

Sadly John passed away in 2014 and Betty is still in touch with Dartmouth Caring and receiving emotional support.

All names have been changed to protect identities.