'Caring alone is hard' - husband's story

11:15am Monday 20th April 2009

WHEN Ken Taylor's wife of almost 40 years was diagnosed with a degenerative disease in 2002, he saw it as his responsibility as her husband to look after her.

Deciding to go it alone, he cared for Diane, 63, at their home in Clawdd Du, Monmouth, as she suffered with progressive supranuclear palsy, which affects the brain.

Mr Taylor, 64, said: "I was here 24/7 anyway and I'm Diane's husband, it was my duty to look after her, I couldn't see why I needed any help at all."

But caring for his wife did take a toll on Mr Taylor, who became exhausted through lack of sleep and said he began to feel depressed.

In November 2007, after much persuasion from family and friends and speaking to the hospice, Mrs Taylor began to get care at home.

She now has two visits a week between 10pm and 7am which allows Mr Taylor to rest knowing his wife is in good hands.

"I'm sure Diane appreciates it as well because she knows there's someone here at night - I was afraid to leave her for too long. It's support for the rest of the family as well."

Mr Taylor said he's glad he took the step to get support from St David's, adding: "I wouldn't be here today without their help, it's really helped me and stabilised our lives."

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