Once the life of the party, Gill has become a frailer version of herself with the disease that has consumed her in a matter of two years.
Alzheimer's and Dementia take quite a toll on the family more than the person diagnosed with it. Dominic Cardall's wife, Gill, was diagnosed with a form of dementia called progressive non-fluent aphasia in December 2015, reports Daily Mail. Her husband Dominic, 55, and their daughters Emily, 30, and Georgia, 26, have slowly witnessed Gill deteriorate. She has lost the ability to walk, eat or even talk. On their 30th wedding anniversary in 2016, the couple renewed their vows, but Dominic realized that his wife was unable to say anything. Gill, a former Women's Royal Navy worker, now needed round-the-clock care and was confined to a wheelchair.
Dominic said his wife could only communicate by drawing "squiggles". He wanted to highlight that dementia could "happen to anyone" and how it has "erased" the woman his wife used to be. He took to Facebook to share a picture of his wife four years ago and now. A once healthy woman with a beautiful smile is now slouched over a wheelchair, unable to even control her own movements.
He wrote: These photos are four years apart and show what this bastard disease, dementia, has done to a wonderful, beautiful lady. The first photo was recently sent to me and really caught me off guard. I miss that Gill so much and I’m thankful for the 33 years we’ve had. Some days can be tough, but it can pass anything on it’s, “to seize the day” and tell your loved one that you love them every day, because you don’t know what tomorrow has in store.
Cardall, from Congleton in Cheshire, said, "It's horrible really, to see that change. Gill was the life and soul of any party. She was kind, thoughtful but always spoke her mind. She always thought about others, never missed anyone's birthday and loved to be the center of attention. She was a very popular lady. [Now], she has become a frailer version of herself. It's as if she is slowly fading in every aspect - physically, mentally and just in who she is. It's like she's being erased by [dementia]."
"I thought I need to share the pictures to raise awareness and give people a kick up the backside. [Dementia] can happen to anyone. Gill now needs 24-hour care, including her personal care and feeding. She has to have pureed food because of swallowing and choking issues. Her fluids are all thickened to make them like wallpaper paste. She's also losing a lot of weight. We can't keep the weight on her because of her eating issues."
Gill and Dominic married when they both worked for the Royal Navy in Plymouth in 1986. They left two years later because they wanted to start a family. Their daughters, Emily, 30, and Georgia, 26, now help with taking care of their mother. Both of them were still living at home when Gill started showing signs of Dementia. Along with her speech deteriorating, Dominic noticed other changes in his wife as well. He noticed she was less empathetic.
That's when she was diagnosed with Dementia and within two years, she was completely wheelchair-bound. In the last 18 months, an occupation therapist has helped the family adapt their home for Gill, who now sleeps in their old dining room. Dominic is now urging people 'to push' for a diagnosis if they notice something isn't right. Though he finds comfort in his family, he admits there is little support out there for victims of early-onset dementia.