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James and Maureen McKillop

United Kingdom

James and Maureen McKillop

James and Maureen have been married for thirty seven years, not all happily.

They had four children and family life was normal until James started to behave oddly as he approached his mid fifties. He had all sorts of difficulties with work, family life and driving and the frustrations he felt, manifested into aggressive behaviour.

This led to all sorts of tensions and exacerbated to the point where Maureen and the children did not speak to him and indeed were planning to leave him and seek a new life elsewhere. Life was very unhappy all around, for them all.

Things changed when James was diagnosed with dementia and received treatment and good quality support. James, while accepting the diagnosis immediately, nevertheless only started to come to terms with his illness after eighteen months. It opened up a new world for him. He met up with other people with dementia and with Heather Wilkinson was instrumental in setting up the Scottish Dementia Working Group, about which you will hear more, later in the Conference.

Today life is as normal as it can be when dementia stalks the house. Maureen, realizing James was ill, did not leave as planned. The children started to speak to their father again. There is now a good atmosphere in the home and they both enjoy life to the full. There are still ups and downs but life goes on.



Last Updated: Monday 12 July 2010