John McIndoe, 76, makes a daily 24 mile round trip to visit his Alzheimer’s affected wife.
McIndoe lives in England, but his story plays out for others worldwide. Besides seeing his wife mentally decline it has been a frustrating experience getting her the health-care that she needs.
What frustrated McIndoe was how England’s National Healthcare System (NHA) offers a lot of patient care services for cancer patients, but mental health-care lacks the same level of services. For the devoted husband it is as difficult to watch a loved one deteriorate with Alzheimer’s disease as it is to someone suffering from cancer.
He found support from Newcastle’s charity, Dementia Care Partnership, and their online forum for care givers. Desperate for advice he found the health-care professionals did not offer anything on par with what was available in support groups formed by other Alzheimer’s care-givers.
His fight against the NHS began when they withdrew full finding for round-the-clock care. McIndoe was told that his wife’s condition was not deteriorating rapidly enough to justify continued payments. He fought the system and won.