One man and his dog: A story of Alzheimer’s care

This is a true story. But it’s a story of a moment in time that one day will not be told, because one day there will be a cure for Alzheimer’s. Until then, Solo Expenses supports, in a modest way, those helping to deliver a cure by regularly giving a proportion of company revenues to research. That means all our clients are helping too, because without them there would be no money for us to give. What else can we say but ‘thank you’?

Mavis* had become a stranger in her own home. Alzheimer’s had shut down her memories and kept her in a prison in which although she received visitors, she knew none of them. It was a life sentence.

It was also a life sentence for Donald, her husband of more than 40 years. Mavis was still the woman he’d married, except that she wasn’t. She just wasn’t there anymore, and he shared his life with the husk of hers. Only he knew the happy times they’d shared; held memories of what their lives had been; knew that her Alzheimers had robbed them both of their dreams for a future in retirement.

In place of all that he had the daily round of chores, albeit helped by carers who came in support; getting Mavis out of bed in the morning; dressing and feeding her, taking her for a walk or to the bathroom, and then cooking and cleaning their bungalow and getting her ready for bed, before starting the whole routine again the next day. More often than not, she knew neither him nor the carers.

He could have consigned her to a nursing home, but it would have broken him. He remembered the words from their wedding ceremony; particularly ‘for better for worse’ and ‘in sickness and in health’. He’d made a promise. He wasn’t going to break it now. Anyway, he still loved her too much.

A ray of sunshine
One man and his dog A story of Alzheimers care-1 The one ray of sunshine in both their lives was Benji, a small, brown rescue dog. Benji loved both of them, and was loved by both in return. Benji didn’t understand Alzheimers, but he knew that Mavis would hold his lead when she sat in the wheelchair for their morning walk with Donald, and that she would sing to him all afternoon; the same song, over and over. He didn’t care. He adored the attention, and she didn’t know she’d been singing the same few lines for hours, over and over.

It was during these times that Donald was able to push the Hoover and a duster around, do the washing and cook their meals. In the better weather they all went outside, and he was able to potter round their garden, at all times keeping an eye on them both. Because of these times he kept his sanity, and was able to hold their little family together. All because of a small brown rescue dog.

Who are we doing this for?
It’s for people like Donald and Mavis, who may succumb to Alzheimers in the future, that’s it’s important that we support research now. Who knows who those people might be. Will you be one? Will your partner or your children? The more funding we can put into it, research now, together, the quicker a universally-available cure might become available.

Which is why Solo Expenses believes so strongly in looking beyond ourselves at people we could help; people who really need help. Life isn’t all about earning more money, it’s about making a difference for every Donald and Mavis out there. This is what makes Solo Expenses stand out from other money management apps, because it’s about so much more than expense management. See what we do at our Giving Back pages

We could hardly make supporting these good causes any easier. All you have to do is buy and use our expense management app – it costs next to nothing; less than the price of a coffee shop latte and a slice of cake every month. At its entry level it’s even free. It will undoubtedly make you better at money management and save you money.

Using Solo Expenses will change your life today. Because of our Giving Back commitment, who can tell how many lives you’ll have helped change in the future?

Mavis would say thank you on behalf of her and Donald, if she understood…

• We haven’t used real names, naturally.