Forty four years have passed since Nilda Martinez married Henry, but she will forever remember and cherish the support he gave her during this time.
Since Henry was diagnosed with dementia, Mrs Martinez says it’s now her turn to be there for him.
“He was always there any time I needed him and he supported our family all his life. It’s hard work with Henry, but I can do it,” she says.
The couple (pictured) attend Sydney’s UnitingCare Bankstown Caring Centre together, where Mrs Martinez is popular for her help in organising events and cooking lunches.
“When the doctor told us Henry had Alzheimer’s, I knew nothing about the disease. I didn’t know what to do. Slowly I started to learn more and the doctor recommended we go to the UnitingCare group for more help and support,” she says.
A reluctant Mrs Martinez, at first, thought she could go without the extra assistance, but is now relieved as the support offered by the group has allowed her to enjoy life.
“Sometimes it feels strange because Henry is so healthy in every other way, but then on some days he won’t remember who I am.
“A lot of people don’t know there is help, or what type of support they can get. The staff at UnitingCare always has friendly smiles... when we are down, they make us feel better.”
UnitingCare Ageing also operates respite centres, which provide care during unexpected illness, injury or at times when carers need to take a break from caring for an elderly person in their own home.