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Devoted Husband Goes Beyond the Call of Duty for Ill Wife

Devoted Husband Goes Beyond the Call of Duty for Ill Wife

Matt Muircroft has used his professional decorator’s acumen to adorn areas in St. George’s Chapel and Windsor Castle—two of the United Kingdom’s most storied landmarks. But he considers his latest project, decorating a new apartment for his wife Julie, his crowning glory.

Julie, now 75 years old, was diagnosed with dementia back in 2009. Citing the desire to live closer to family, the couple recently decided to move back to Scotland from an English town just west of London, where they had lived for over three decades.

According to The Daily Mail, when Matt learned that a dramatic change in surroundings could cause Julie’s dementia to worsen, he decided to use his decorating skills to ease his ailing wife’s transition.

Matt meticulously re-created the interior of their previous apartment, attending to every last detail, even down to the placement family photographs and the shape of the fireplace.

“Caring for Julie and helping her cope with the changes the condition had brought, by doing anything I can, has become my sole focus,” Matt told The Daily Mail. “Recreating the interior has really helped Julie settle and without a doubt it’s been the most important job of my life.”

Routine, familiarity help people with dementia cope

Dementia symptoms can vary widely, depending on which type an individual suffers from (i.e. Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body, vascular). Hallucinations, paranoia, memory loss and delirium are just a few of the most common cognitive consequences of these conditions.

No matter the cause of their symptoms, experts agree that recognizable surroundings can help keep people with dementia calm.

“They thrive on familiarity,” says Holly Hart, LVN, director of residential health services at Claremont Manor, a continuing care retirement community in Claremont, California. “Familiar faces, a familiar environment, even familiar food—anything they can use as a touchstone.”

A predictable schedule can also reduce the agitation a dementia-stricken individual experiences.

Jed Levine, Executive Vice President and director of programs and service for the New York City chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association says that routines help ground those with memory loss and cognitive impairment. Activities and places that resonate with a person’s pre-dementia life can help them remain active and engaged in the world around them, even as their disease progresses.

To learn more about how daily activities and routines can benefit people with dementia, see: How to Develop a Daily Routine for People with Dementia

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Read more: Alzheimer's, Caregiving, Family, Healthy Aging, Love, , , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

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AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

122 comments

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6:47PM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

this couple share something rare--True Love.

11:33PM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

Research is doing wonderful work on Alzheimers...... best to start a Coconut Oil regime as soon as possible. It's a cure for many things and apparently helps with Alzheimers....

5:15AM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

thank you

1:31PM PDT on Oct 9, 2013

May we all find love that true

9:27PM PDT on Oct 2, 2013

What a compassionate man. I was my Mom's caregiver for 12 years during her illness (Alzheimers). She actually had it for 14 years, the last couple of years, unfortunately she had to spend in a nursing home just down the street from where I lived. I also was my dad's caregiver for most of those 12 years (stroke victim), and I would take him to spend the day with my mom, just about everyday. It was really sad to watch your energetic, always going places parents, change so dramatically as far as their capabilities to no longer be independent, or care for themselves. My parents did a lot for me, it was the least I could do. My mom was always sweet, smiling, and easy to get to laugh, right up until the end. We were lucky. Sure, it wasn't easy to take care of them, but they would have done it for me without thinking twice. I never would have thought I would be taking care of 2 disabled adults, it was actually harder than taking care of small children, but when it's your loved ones, you just jump into action and try to make their lives as stress free as you can. I miss them terribly.

9:08PM PDT on Oct 2, 2013

Thank you so much for this article as well as the link on the bottom, need help!

4:37AM PDT on Oct 2, 2013

"until one is is capable of returning kindness to another without a hope of a return, one has not live."

4:24AM PDT on Oct 2, 2013

Mr and Mrs Muircroft obviously know the real meaning of love and marriage. I think he would be terribly sad to hear his devotion, love and "crowning glory" referred to as "going beyond the call of duty".

4:38AM PDT on Oct 1, 2013

Thanks for the story.

3:55AM PDT on Oct 1, 2013

Good Soul! ^_^

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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