ON THE JOB: Full-time, stay at home carer Ken Boston loves caring for his wife who is suffering from dementia.
ON THE JOB: Full-time, stay at home carer Ken Boston loves caring for his wife who is suffering from dementia. Jay Cronan

Out of thought does not mean out of mind

IF KEN BOSTON had his way he wouldn't allow anyone except himself to care for his wife of 53 years, Bev - despite her dementia.

But at the age of 78 even he realises he needs help - not that you will hear him complain about the impact his wife's illness has on him.

“It's constant care for me to look after her,” he said.

“Things that she used to do once in a breeze she can no longer do. Things the rest of us take for granted, like showering and getting dressed.

“I am very grateful that I can do this,” Mr Boston said. “It's not a duty. It's done in love.”

Every day in Australia, more than 1300 new cases of dementia are diagnosed, and by 2050 there are expected to be 7400 new cases every week.

Sadly it is already the fourth highest cause of death.

But there is help. This week the State and Federal governments announced they would build 16 new day care centres throughout the State - one of them in Casino.

It was great news for the Bostons. Bev, 74, is already attending the 'makeshift' centre at the Casino Uniting Church.

The centre will now be moved to a purpose-built one at the corner of Canterbury and Dairy streets, which is expected to open by February 2010.

It will have nine clients a day with a staff of two and a service manager.

The centre will be funded under the Home and Community Care program that provides affordable and accessible care.

Minister for Aging and Disability Services, Paul Lynch, said the centres were designed to help the elderly remain independent.

“Without the Home and Community Care service, many people would have to move prematurely into residential care,” he said.

Mr Boston said although he misses Bev 'like crazy' while she is at the centre, 'it does give me a bit of a break'.

“It's good for her and gives her stimulus of the brain,” he said. “She enjoys going along, which is a big thing. She's laughing and happy and comes home and talks to me about it. I would be very concerned if she didn't want to go along, but it's a really wonderful service and I thank everyone involved in it.”

On top of providing 'fun' activities to keep the brain active, the centre hopes to provide overnight care in the future.



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