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Love transcends words for carer Bill

Bill and Coleen on their wedding day

There may be no words to describe the love between Victoria Point couple Bill and Coleen, but stanzas and verses help Bill convey the things left unsaid.

Bill, 77, has cared for Coleen since she was diagnosed with dementia 15-years-ago.

Coleen continued to live independently at home with support from Bill and their local Bolton Clarke team until making the move to residential aged care three years ago.

After 47 years together – they met on a blind date when Coleen was a successful piano teacher and Bill worked in cars and trades – Bill said writing poetry for his wife had helped him deal with the transition.

In between visits to Coleen he is now working to build connections and join social activities while living independently with ongoing home care support.

“Quite often the husband is the last person to know they aren’t well because as a couple they spend so much time together,” Bill said.

“Early intervention is the key to staying on top of things – it can be very emotional, draining and hard as a carer, but little things like prompting can help the person keep doing things independently.”

He said having the support of a professional home care team backed by Bolton Clarke’s dementia Senior Clinical Nurse Advisors and Clinical Nurse Consultants, made a huge difference.

“They’re marvellous,” he said.

“I couldn’t talk more highly of the team - they have made a huge difference for us and still do.”

Nationally, Bolton Clarke supports more than 5000 home care clients with a formal diagnosis of dementia and others living with cognitive impairment.