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Anne de Gruchy

Anne de Gruchy

Writer and long-distance carer

I came to writing late, at nearly 40, during a gap between jobs – a period when I also studied theology. I hate having time on my hands so I thought: I’ll write that book I’ve always talked about – and I did! Since then I’ve written two novels, a humorous theological book, short stories and poetry.

Now in my 50s, I find myself juggling time between home and my father’s house in Dorset. Caring for him and managing his care package and finances has added a new dimension to my life. Unable to juggle this with mainstream employment, I find myself with the opportunity to develop my writing and artwork alongside a caring role. My experience is that every difficult decision can also be a blessing if we are open to it…

Anne de Gruchy

I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day, about how illness can define us. It got me thinking about my own up-and-down mental health, and how it has shaped my life over the years. It also got me thinking about my dad.

Anne de Gruchy

This morning, on my way to my Quaker Meeting, I rescued a child. Well, not exactly rescued, but I did respond to a distress call.

Anne de Gruchy

It is a strange thing, the ups and downs of a long-distance carer’s life. When your visits or phone calls are frequent, or the paperwork overwhelming, you’d give anything for a break.

Anne de Gruchy

In Meeting this morning, a Quaker friend shared her response to, and feelings about, being a Befriender to people living with dementia. She sounded sad as she wondered about how much of a role, say, and dignity we allow people with dementia to have in their lives.

Anne de Gruchy

Dementia Caring with Love. Here, for your perusal, is another set of ‘Tentative Tips’. As I said in Part One, please do take them for what they are – ideas shared in the hope they might prove useful to others as they have proved useful to me and other carers I have talked to.

Anne de Gruchy

My dad was 90 earlier this year. My sisters and I spent a good few weeks debating the benefits and pitfalls of a big party.

Anne de Gruchy

How to stay standing and happy alongside the person you care for with dementia.  I’ve worked for many years in the field of mental health, but nothing prepared me for the emotional reaction of becoming a carer myself.

Anne de Gruchy

I don’t find caring for my dad easy.  The word ‘carer’ slips out freely enough – I have worked with carers and in the field of mental health over many years and, just as I am not shy of admitting to having mental health problems, I am happy to identify myself as a carer.

Anne de Gruchy

I have just come back from a trip down to Dorset to stay with my dad.  My dad lives in a beautiful small north Dorset town, and it should be (and mainly is) a pleasure to visit.

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