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Interview 54- Carers of people with dementia

Age at interview: 45
Age at diagnosis: 77
Brief Outline: Cared for in her own home, initially supported by cleaner who had been with her for 20 years. Since the cleaner retired they have installed a live in carer. Arrangements for transfer to residential care in the near future are being considered.
Background: Carer is one of 4 daughters looking after their widowed mother. She has two daughters of her own and works as a script editor. Her mother never went to work.

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The GP told her it was no longer safe for her mother to drive. She found it difficult to take...

The GP told her it was no longer safe for her mother to drive. She found it difficult to take...

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Now I, certainly one of my sisters felt her driving was risky and I didn't. And I felt it was a bitter blow for her to lose that car but sure enough she did because the doctor wouldn't sign the thing saying she could keep it. So I went and saw the doctor and persuaded him, the local doctor, to sign a form for the police saying that she could drive, you know, etc, but he wouldn't 'cos he said 'You'll never forgive yourself if she's in an accident'. 

 
My feelings were that it would have such a bad effect on her not having a car that, you know, if she had an accident, well obviously that would be terrible, but in a sense it was the quality of her life that I wanted to keep up.
 
So there were heated debates about that with my sisters and one of my sisters was more keen that she did lose the car and then I had the very painful job, and this caused a lot of friction between me and my three sisters, I volunteered to be the one to go and take the keys off her, the car keys. 
 
And that I have to say [interviewers name] was the most horrible time I've had. I was crying before I had to do it because it felt like, just taking someone's freedom away. You know, someone who was always so independent and it was horrible, it's making me feel tearful now just thinking about it. And of course you know, then my other sister turned up with a whole weekend of circular questions 'cos her memory was going then, this was about two years ago, about why and how unfair and outrageous and she went to a solicitor and what an ageist society we live in and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we had to hide the keys. So that was grim and I have to say for me that makes me feel a horrible thing, it was horrible to do that to an old lady and to your mother, yeah. 
 
That was my worst point. And I don't think anything will be as bad again. And so much so that I felt so angry with my sisters afterwards I did write them a letter calling them cowards and everything else. 'Cos one of them was meant to come with me and she didn't and I was very annoyed.
 

 

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