Caring for my wife - Michael Muskett's story
Michael Muskett, 82, cares for his wife Doreen, 79, who was
diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1972.
They live together in Milton Keynes.
Parkinson's impact on work
The change from husband and wife to carer and person with Parkinson's is very difficult.
"Our lives have never been the same since Doreen's Parkinson's
started to deteriorate.
"We're both retired professional musicians. During our
careers we've made great progress in bringing music to people both
at home and abroad.
"We used to do 6 to 8 South Bank concerts a year including
festivals and music clubs.
"However, in 1997 our careers were forced to come to an end. Due
to Doreen's worsening Parkinson's, she was no longer able to play
her instruments at a professional level. I was unable to continue
with music as I became her sole carer."
Stress and frustration
"Now I am a full time carer from 8am to 10pm. With no career and
no professional income, my pension savings have been cut off.
"The stress and frustration are at times almost unbearable. I
have to run the household on my own and have little time to give to
music or time to do anything outside of the house.
"Our lives have changed from an active lifestyle full of travel,
music and a glistening career, to a restricted homebound
"It's horrible and life-shattering to watch the person you love
deteriorate in such a way.
Poor experience of respite care
"Respite care is inadequate. I've had a carer's assessment and I
receive Carer's Allowance, as well as
claiming a pension and respite care. But I don't receive any home
care to help me or my wife.
"The change in relationship between husband and wife to carer
and person with Parkinson's is very difficult."
Improving support for carers
We know how important support for carers is. Carers of people
with Parkinson's, like Michael, can face challenges getting the
support and information they need.