Dementia: Carer encourages other men to seek support

Every three minutes, someone in the UK develops dementia. One day centre for people with the condition has seen referrals double and staff are encouraging more male carers to seek support. BBC News’ Kevin Shoesmith listened to one couple’s story.

Norma Reffin waits, smiling, in the communal lounge.

Her partner of 40 years, Stefan Williamson, is in a nearby office.

Gesturing towards the lounge, he explains to me: “When we go back in there, it will be like I’ve been away two years.”

Stefan, 62, says he often holds 83-year-old Norma’s hand, hoping touch might be understood where the meaning of words could be lost.

“It hurts,” he admits. “But we are together, that’s the main thing. She will say to me things like, ‘you won’t leave me will you?'”

Norma is one of about 60 people with dementia who attend Hull’s Endike Community Care centre regularly. Stefan is just one of an increasing number of men caring for loved ones like her who are living with the condition.

It is a stark fact, but…

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