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Crossroads is respite ‘godsend’ for 75-year-old Clayhall carer

PUBLISHED: 10:03 14 June 2013 | UPDATED: 10:03 14 June 2013

Jeffrey and Greta Margolis

Jeffrey and Greta Margolis

Archant

There are a staggering six million carers in the UK, many of whom are unaware of the help they are entitled to. But Greta Margolis believes she would be left “tired and frustrated” if it was not for the respite she receives.

Greta, 75, of Calne Avenue, Clayhall, has been taking care of husband, Jeffrey, since he was diagnosed with dementia three years ago.

‘Really difficult’

She said: “We coped for quite a long time without any help. Jeffrey has very bad short-term memory and gets quite confused, although he can remember what happened a very long time ago. It can be really difficult, but after 54 years of marriage you carry on.

“He gets very depressed and if he walks off, he is unable to find his way home, which is really scary.”

Greta, who also works as a special needs escort and leaves the house at 6.30am every day, said: “I never wanted to retire as I like being around people and out and about. The help I receive means I can continue working.

“Before, when I was out and Jeffrey was at home, I always got a bad feeling that he wouldn’t be here when I returned.”

Jeffrey, 76, now attends HomeShare run by Crossroads Care Redbridge, which first started 12 years, and has proved an extremely popular project for people with early stage dementia.

Greta said: “It has been a godsend to me as it gives me a little respite to get everything done, like dealing with bills and household chores. They entertain him and organise activities to keep his brain active.

“I’d be very tired and frustrated if it wasn’t for the help. Plus, I know he is being well taken care of.”

Nearly two million people spend at least 20 hours a week caring, and it is estimated there are about 30,000 unpaid carers in Redbridge entitled to help.

n For more information on the services Crossroads Care offers, visit www.carers.org.


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