IT TOOK Valda Glover four years to convince doctors her husband had dementia and her work to educate carers and loved ones during that time and ever since has been nothing short of inspiring.
She was nominated, and was a semi-finalist, in this year’s Carers SA Carer Achievement Award for caring for her husband, Robin, who has advanced dementia, and the work she does to change people’s perceptions of the disease.
Mrs Glover has been a trailblazer for dementia education on Eyre Peninsula and state wide but remaining modest, said she nearly fell off her chair when she was told she of her nomination.
Her family has shared their story at conferences, she started a monthly Memory Lane group for carers to come together and also provided a generous donation to the Port Lincoln Library’s Healthy Brain Hub.
He doesn’t remember anything but he is happy in the moment.Valda Glover
”We were asked to share our story because no one else would do it,” she said.
“We’ve been to conferences here in Port Lincoln and in Adelaide to help educate others and raise awareness of the early stages of dementia.
“In the early years he (Robin) would stand up and tell his story and our children would do the same thing and it has helped take the shame and stigma away.”
Mrs Glover said Mr Glover had lived with dementia for 10 years and while she recognised the early signs it took four years to convince doctors.
However even after a diagnosis life has continued mostly as normal for the pair, who have climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and recently returned from a cruise.
“He doesn’t remember anything but he is happy in the moment,” Mrs Glover said.
“I keep motivating him and thinking up things for him to do; we do something that makes him happy every day.”
Mrs Glover said she felt it was important to share her story so other carers knew their loved ones did not need to be “locked in a house”.
“By sharing our story I hope to inspire other carers to take their loved ones out and motivate them.
“It doesn’t matter if they remember, they are happy in the moment.”
“We’re not perfect and as a carer it is hard work to keep them motivated, but we are doing the best we can each day with what we’ve got.”
Due to the high caliber of entries in the category Mrs Glover and the other semi-finalists were presented with a certificate at the awards night in Adelaide last Friday night.