‘Wonderful’ nurse to make a difference to Sid Valley

Margery and Peter Hoskins at their Golden Wedding anniversary

Margery and Peter Hoskins at their Golden Wedding anniversary - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth carer has called an Admiral Nurse in the Sid Valley a ‘wonderful idea’, after her own struggles to care for her husband.

Margery Hoskins made the difficult decision to move Peter, her spouse of 62 years, into full-time care three years ago when he began to wander off and become aggressive.

The 85-year-old was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, but had been displaying signs of the condition before the couple moved to Sidmouth 13 years ago.

Margery said: “When I look back, I realise he was such a meticulous man and I noticed certain things he wouldn’t normally have done.

“I still feel guilty, but I know it was the best decision. I wish I could look after him at home, but I know I cannot, even when you have been married for 62 years.

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“He doesn’t remember living here now. He says ‘you have a nice place here’.”

The 84-year-old described an evening where she had left Peter alone while she cleaned her teeth. Soon afterwards, she received a call from her neighbour to say her husband had been seen walking down the street.

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The Bulverton Park resident said: “I was only gone three minutes.”

After a search on foot, she jumped in the car. “I saw him at the top of Alexandria Road, just on the corner of the pavement, teetering on the edge. He was still in his dressing gown, a straw hat, and he had some books under his arm. It had started to rain.” said Margery. “I got out of the car and said ‘what are you doing love? You’re getting wet’.

“Then I started thinking, what if he had stepped off? He could have caused an accident.”

Before Peter moved full-time to Thornfield Rest Home, in Seaton, he had been visiting the care home once or twice a week to give Margery a break.

The retired hairdresser became a huge supporter of the Admiral Nurse Campaign, after learning about the work of the dementia specialist at a carers’ group, which she still attends monthly at Twyford House.

The grandmother-of-two said: “I think an Admiral Nurse is a wonderful idea and that it will go from strength to strength once we employ one. It won’t be long until we have one.”

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