Replies to first post


Registered User
Aug 3, 2006
Hi fellow carers, I am very moved by your responses. Yes Mel: I'm Irish, though I have a strong accent I try to avoid the subject. I spent my early childhood in what I thought was an orphanage, it turned out to have been an Industrial School, then at ten transfered to another Industrial School. Early this year under the Freedom of Information Act I discovered I was charged at Dublin DC under the 1908 and 1924 Acts with begging and sentenced to be detained till age 16, I was 2 years old! I left the country in 1949.
Alex: How I wish I knew five years ago what I have now learned, I know I could have saved both my wife and self a great deal of pain and heartbreak.
Norman: I have been running since my first forced run in hobnailed boots aged ten at Artane Industrial School. Have spent my life fighting to prove myself in a strange world at work and sport and ended up representing Ireland.
Margarita: The only word Jean has uttered in the past three years was "Yes" in answer to my proposal on our 50th wedding anniversary last September. As I was strapping her legs in the wheel chair, down on one knee joking "Would you do it all over again after 50 years, take on this stray again?" She became very emotional and with great efford she uttered a strangled "Yes"
This very special girl is from a small mining area in West Auckland Co. Durham has inspired me to achive what most people would consider success. I kept my promise to get her a large house in the country and I was able to retire at 54. Not bad for a girl who started work at 14 in a factory, and I made to work at ten making and repairing clothing. We have had a very full exciting life, living and working in the Far East, Middle East, and Europe. There has also been tragedy. Caring for the girl who has given me unconditional love has proved to be the most rewarding aspect of my life. She who introduced me to such things as celebrating birthdays, giving and receiving presents and much more.
My perspective on her illness next.
Sorry for taking up your time with this.
God bless Padraig


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Lonestray said:
The only word Jean has uttered in the past three years was "Yes" in answer to my proposal on our 50th wedding anniversary last September.
Hi Padraig - that is such a moving thing to experience, and for us to hear about.


And it is also such a strong pointer away from the idea that people have [primarily to save themselves pain, and why not?] that our loved ones are no longer there, even when at an advanced stage.

For someone to be able to force their words past the dementia is a major triumph, and we all have to acknowledge the amount of pure love that enables them to do that.

Please do keep posting!


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
What a bound you both must have :) unconditional love is a lasting love and your story prove it . Your lucky to have found that in each other Do you have children that can help you so you can get some time out for you?

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
Dear Padraig,
What an amazing and moving story. You are obviously a man who counts his blessings and finds the best in every situation. - Very inspiring!
Never apologise for 'taking up our time', I am looking forward to the next instalment.
Best wishes!


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
Hi Padraig
i was so moved to read your inspiring
I too await the next instalment with baited breath.....


Registered User
Aug 3, 2006
In the begining

Hi there fellow carers, I better answer your question, yes we have two children, a third was killed at 15, but that's another story. Between Sean and Colleen they have 9 children. To date there are 9 grand children, 3 great grand children and another due next month. Colleen visits twice a week for a chat. Sean like most boys you never know when he will visit. Often when I am changing pads or feeding. I'm afraid I'm selfish and don't want to share the caring.
Like most spouses when the ghost of Alzheimer's started flitting in and out of our lives I took little notice. Colleen and her family were working and living abroad. Each time they came home they stayed with us in our large country home, she kept on at me saying, Mom should go to see a doctor. It went on for over a year before I took her to see her GP, who refered her on to a mental health specialist. By then she was always picking up specks of dirt from the carper and off peoples cloths I could'nt see any. The specialist conducted simple tests: repeating over and over a simple address with her. Then had her clap her hands together then make a fist with one and clap, then repeat, clap open hands then clap hand & fist. Her co-ordination was not too good. Later asked her to repest the address, she could only repeat bits of it. She was reffered for an MIR scan which showed Alzheimer's well estblished. Over the next few years without warning the wandering 'home' started. Then she defecated on the carpet, she did'nt do it! One morning she was dashing to get out, and having trouble dressing she was wearing one red and one white sock. "What's the hurry?" I asked. "I'm late for school". "Don't worry I'll have a word with the Head." To deflect her I remarked I liked her socks and that she had another pair just like them in the drawer. The sadest thing was to find small bundles of notes hidden in 15 hand bags amounting to £800. It still pains me as I always encouraged her to have her own bank account and and money what ever she earned was her buisness. She would never be able to use the money she put away as she planned. It meant she had lost some of her independence something I value highly. Must get on, have to give her a drink, I enjoy giving her, her bottle. God bless Padrai