Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be overwhelming, especially when they are your spouse.
Gold Coast woman Judith Ogden found it difficult to know what action to take, or what the future would hold after her husband was diagnosed in 2006 with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.
“Initially there wasn’t a problem with his memory, he just started with bad headaches which is what prompted us to approach the doctor,” Judith said.
“It took us about 6 months before we got to the bottom of it and he received the disheartening diagnosis.”
Judith said her husband who was normally a “hands on” man, started to lose his ability to use simple tools.
“He was a house painter by trade, but eventually he couldn’t even work out a screw driver from a pair of plyers,” she said.
“And then he lost the ability to get words out and communicate properly. Sadly in the last 2 years he only talks with murmurs or very basic words.”
Now down the path of the later stages of Alzheimer’s, it was time for Mr Ogden to be placed into full time care.
“This meant I had to return to work because I was too young to retire,” Judith said.
“I had office experience but didn’t want to return to that industry. Caring was the most recent thing for me as I had cared for both my husband and my mother previously. It became obvious that this was where I needed to focus.”
Seeing a flyer for ETC’s Certificate III in Aged Care and Home and Community Care course, Judith quickly applied.
“ETC has been absolutely wonderful, I would highly recommend them. Michelle our trainer was excellent. She looked after us and then helped us to find a work placement,” Judith said.
Judith finished the course and was offered a job straight away at Melody Park “Wisteria Lodge”.
“I was very fortunate to be given a job at this facility. It’s wonderful because there are so many different personalities here and I love hearing their stories. This has really helped me with my personal situation,” she said.
Research has shown that caregivers, who are educated about the disease and receive appropriate support, experience less stress and fewer physical illnesses.
Are you interested in making a real difference in people lives? ETC’s community services courses can you give you a head start in commencing your career in the caring and community sector on the Gold Coast. For more information visit etcltd.com.au or phone 1800 007 400.