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Pewsey retired actor’s ovation for aid with ailing wife
A retired actor believes Alzheimer’s Support delivers a showstopping performance supporting him as he cares for his wife.
Michael Turner, 90, has cared for his wife, Monica, 86, at their home in Manor Court, Pewsey, for three years after she was diagnosed with dementia.
The couple and their three children, Christopher, 62, Jessica, 58, and Patrick, 52, have received regular support from Alzheimer’s Support in Wiltshire.
Soon after Mrs Turner was diagnosed the couple were advised by their doctor to contact Alzheimer’s Support, who arranged a weekly visit by a support worker, Jackie Skinner, to to give Mr Turner a break.
He said: “We had a wonderful service when Jackie took Monica out. She so enjoyed the visits and I got some time to get on with jobs here at home. Alzheimer’s Support have been marvellous to us and I can’t fault them at all.
“The only problem now is that Jackie has moved on to doing the day club in Devizes so we are currently trying to find someone new to take Monica out once a week.”
Mr Turner said the charity is doing everything it can to find a new support worker to visit the couple and he said they regularly phone him to check how he and Mrs Turner are.
He said: “We are getting by okay, but of course it can be difficult at times as things can get a bit awkward, given our age, but we manage okay. We have great children, marvellous support from Alzheimer’s Support and the local Link service which takes us to and from hospital appointments.”
Mrs Turner was also an actor like her husband but she gave up acting after the birth of her third child.
Mr Turner said: “She was a terribly good actress but she gave it up after the birth of Paddy as she said she couldn’t do both and wanted to concentrate on our family. We still have a good relationship, we have laughs between ourselves and get out as much as possible.”
To mark national Carers’ Week, Alzheimer’s Support has published a survey, conducted last year, that said 62 per cent of carers, given a break each week by a support worker from the charity, believe it makes a big difference to their lives.
A further 20 per cent said that they didn’t believe they could continue caring for their loved ones without this support.
The survey, which asked carers to rate its home and community support service, showed that 73 per cent of family carers rated the service as excellent, and 27 per cent rated it as very good.
Eighty per cent of carers said the professionalism of the staff was excellent, and 20 per cent said it was very good.
For more information visit www.alzheimerswiltshire.org.uk