Linda makes donation to nurse appeal in memory of husband

PUBLISHED: 06:33 05 November 2016

Keith Streeter is fondly remembered as the man in the red cap who made jokes.

Keith Streeter is fondly remembered as the man in the red cap who made jokes.

Archant

A widow has donated £650 to Sidmouth’s Admiral Nurse Campaign in honour of her late husband who battled dementia.

Keith and Linda Streeter at Haytor before he was diagnosed with dementia.Keith and Linda Streeter at Haytor before he was diagnosed with dementia.

Linda Streeter said the specialist would have been a ‘lovely resource’ to her when she was caring for spouse Keith, who died in August – two days before their 45th wedding anniversary.

Linda asked for donations to go towards the ongoing costs of the nurse, instead of flowers at Keith’s funeral.

She said: “Some people may think they [the Sid Valley Memory Café] have raised enough to get a nurse - they need to be aware there’s ongoing costs.

“I think it’s going to be a lovely resource. Looking at it from a carer’s perspective, it’s going to be such a support.”

Linda said it was difficult to get a diagnosis for Keith as the 71-year-old used humour to deflect from his dementia.

“He did not always understand and he would just start a joke - that was his way of covering it,” she added.

“He met many people on his walks, but was unable to tell me much about them on his return home.

“Some people didn’t know his name, but thought of him as ‘the man in the red cap’ - with a great sense of humour.

“What I remember is that for most of our married life there was laughter. I can think of some laugh, some giggle, and that’s what I’ve missed the most in the last 10 years. I would say something and he would get the giggles and I would get the giggles.

“You are left grieving twice - for two totally different people in a way.”

Following Keith’s death, Linda found notes her husband had written for himself to try and hide his memory loss.

She said: “He was even trying to hide it from me. He was worried about the stress it caused me. He was very much somebody who protected someone else’s feelings - he was always trying to think about other people.”

Keith, a retired management consultant, began displaying signs of dementia a decade ago.

As his memory loss became worse, Linda visited the Sid Valley Memory Café to see if it would benefit her husband.

Keith was only able to attend one session before he died.

Linda said: “I would have liked Keith to go to mix with people. It’s a valuable resource - I do not know how many volunteers they have, but they must be worth their weight in gold for what they do.”


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