Ann is married to Peter. They have 5 children, 22 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Ann started our chat with ‘I’m a new me’, for the last year she’s been busy entertaining, having friends over, making artwork for her new flat, vising Paris and Morocco, clocking up 30,000 miles driving around the UK to follow her passion for photography. Ann has had health issues which she puts down to the strain of caring, but this has not held her back.

Peter was diagnosed 10 years ago with Mild Cognitive Impairment, this changed to Alzheimer’s and then Lewy Body Dementia as his dementia progressed. Peter was given 3 months to live 18 months ago! Peter now lives in a care home, “he’s put weight on, but he sleeps a lot, when he opens his eyes and smiles at me, it’s not very often, but it is lovely to see. I separate myself into two lives, my new life and my life when I visit him, I go in with a soft voice and a smile even though I’m filled with emotions.


Emma – What has been your greatest challenge while caring for Peter?

“My husband was a mild person; he was very placid. His dementia made him violent, he would shout ‘I hate you’ as he woke up in the morning. He was doing things that he would never do, and it was hard to know how to deal with him. It hurt me, this was the person I’ve been married to for 50 years, it was emotionally hard to deal with.”

“Covid was huge, nobody could visit I had nobody to cry to?”Ann had a friend who was being supported by Empowered Carers who recommended that Ann get in touch.


Emma – how did Empowered Carers help you?

“Amanda was a lifeline; I’d ask how many days before I can speak to you again? She understood the challenge of dementia completely, she was empathetic, she was patient, she listened and would ask me how I felt. I always felt better after speaking to her. When Peter moved to his first care home, I would visit every day, I was grieving. Gradually I started to feel that I was making a life for myself, and the sessions became further apart until they stopped”.


Emma – What advice would you give to other people who are caring for a person living with dementia?

“At times you can’t imagine a future, but things do not stay like this, there will be a life away from this. Stay occupied, speak to people and take care of your own health – your body has a good coping mechanism – you need to listen to it!”

On the 19th October 2022, Ann became an Associate with the Royal Photographic Society. Ann submitted photographs of her own caring story. “Photography helped me to validate my emotions”. Ann is busy planning her 2024 photographic adventures and is paying forward the help and support she has received. “We’ve started a group for spouses of people with dementia where we can share our experience. We have a facilitator and have been inundated with replies from a recent advert in the local paper. I feel like I can give back because I understand, we want to share the positives. It’s good to talk to people who know. I’m also volunteering every week to support sessions for children with ADHD and Autism.”


Emma – Can you sum up Empowered Carers in three words?

“My life line!”