Sigrun's Story


Sigrun Grice

Sigrun’s late husband Barry showed the first signs of dementia when he was around 60 years old. In addition to coping with him developing dementia at a relatively early age, she and Barry faced some unique challenges because they were business partners as well as life partners.

Some of the advice that Sigrun received during the course of Barry’s illness was really helpful to her and she wanted to share this with others. For example, even though the person with dementia is no longer able to think ahead and plan for the future, it is extremely important that their partner ensures that all their affairs are in order and that future plans are still made.

Sigrun and Barry also had a young son Enzo, who was only nine at the time that the signs of his dad’s dementia became evident. You can view Enzo’s own story in a separate video, but Sigrun was very open and honest with Enzo about his father’s condition, which helped him accept what was happening.

Another thing Sigrun feels it is important to convey is that Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is about far more than just memory loss. It affects people’s thinking and behaviour and general cognitive ability. As a partner, it is very important to understand this so that you don’t blame yourself for things changing in your relationship.

Sigrun particularly wanted to share her story about dementia because she understands the importance of being open, and starting conversations about this growing issue in our society. As she says, there is no guidebook on the subject – so anything she can do to help and support other people in a similar situation to hers, she is pleased to contribute.

 

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