To many outsiders, my husband would not seem that far down the track. He presents well, and is very chatty although now segues from subject to subject in a way that is totally baffling, and repeats the same thing constantly. At home, however, he is argumentative, dirty in his person, and querellous about absolutely everything, and will drink anything alcoholic he can lay his hands on. The CPN came round last week, and his memory level is now sufficiently low for her to feel he should not be left alone for long periods. She said that she and the care team had discussed the situation and wondered whether I felt I could not go on much longer. Would it be an idea to put him on the waiting list for residential care and funding? This could take months, if not years, and apparently one does not have to accept the first place offered. I said yes without even thinking about it. The Guilt Monster is now in overdrive. Over the past couple of weeks, while I have been involved in a local festival and every so often something really went well or I had various meals with people who could actually sustain a conversation, I have felt happy. Had forgotton what that was like - it has been a very long time since I have woken up looking forward to the day, but this activity has reminded me life can be better. My stepson has been totally supportive and understanding. I have spent several years coping, in a state of quiet desperation, with living with someone who is 200 per cent different to the person I once knew. I can see a glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel that I have been in for years, with the walls getting more and more constricting. Can others who have gone through this, and in particular have gone through a several month run up to putting someone into care, tell me how they have coped with this difficult transition period?