Anne Mess cares for her husband but still manages to find time for herself
Anne Ness cannot afford to lose her sight. From her home in South Australia, she cares for her husband who has dementia and her mother who has wet age-related macular degeneration. When she can, she loves to get out to meet friends and travel the world.
“My mother was diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration five years ago. Now she is heading towards 97 and she is still pretty independent, even though she can’t see very well and, due to bowel cancer 22 years ago, has to manage a colostomy,” Anne explained. “She doesn’t want to go into a nursing home so my brother and I, his children and great-grandchildren, do as much as we can to help her stay at home.
“I do her shopping and pay the bills. My brother cuts the lawn every so often and we all visit or call her during the week to check-in.”
Anne said life is extremely busy. “I’m 75 but my husband Bruce is 91 and a few years ago, while we were travelling to Morocco, he suddenly became very confused. He spent five weeks in a hospital and eventually we were repatriated to Australia. Bruce has never recovered and now needs to be cared for at home.”
Maintaining her own health and taking time out to enjoy social activities and travel remains a priority.
Anne said despite her demanding schedule as a carer, maintaining her own health and taking time out to enjoy social activities and travel remains a priority. “I use a respite service to care for Bruce so that I can get out and last year I booked respite for five weeks so that I could travel overseas with my sister-in-law.
“A scare I had with my eyesight a few years ago, and my family history, have made me very aware of the risk of getting macular degeneration so I have an eye test and macula check every 12 – 18 months. I also eat a healthy diet with plenty of omega-3 and green leafy vegetables. In my role as a carer I can’t afford for anything to happen to my sight.”