Jacquie Nunn has been full time carer to her husband Tony since 2010
Tony was a barrister with a busy practice before his dementia ended his career. He was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of only 60.
Not long after, Jacquie gave up her long and successful career in teaching and education policy so that she could take care of Tony herself. Nine years after his diagnosis, Tony is now in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. He still lives at home with Jacquie and is also supported by their sons. As part of the regular routine, Tony spends two days a week at a local dementia-specialist day centre and a carer comes to their home for four hours once a week.
For the past two years Tony has also had occasional short stays in an excellent local care home to give everyone a break.
In the traumatic years since his diagnosis Tony and Jacquie have gained much pleasure and encouragement from taking part in creative experiences particularly art, music and dance. Tony loved to attend concerts and enjoyed all kinds of music – that is less easy now due to his increasing mobility difficulties, although they have enjoyed some ‘relaxed’ performances. This makes it all the more important to have easy access to favourite music at home.
Jacquie is one of Unforgettable’s ‘expert by experience’ reviewers. Here’s her opinion about the Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio.
I wish it had been available for my father too
Tony finds music soothing, perhaps because he can no longer make much sense of the spoken word. As his main carer, I have really enjoyed using the Unforgettable Music Player & Digital Radio and found it helpful. In the morning when I am getting him up, it is cheerful for both of us to have lively music on. It helps to set the mood for the day. We use the music for some exercise and movement which keeps Tony mobile. The previous bedside radio had controls that made it quite fiddly to change stations. Now I can just flip between stations really easily. Likewise, at bedtime I can flick on to Classic FM for calming music to help Tony drift off to sleep. I was surprised by how sharp the sound quality is too– it’s definitely better than the other portable radio we have. Overall, I’d say it’s well designed and good value for money compared with other DAB radios.
I also think it might have a wider appeal. For example, my father who died in 2008, did not have dementia, but he was confused by medication for cancer. I bought him a new Roberts DAB radio and set up presets for him so that he could toggle between stations. Sadly, he phoned me up several times in his last days asking me to talk through how to change the stations, but he could never remember the sequence of buttons and ended up being disappointed. It was so frustrating and upsetting. The Unforgettable Music Player would have been brilliant for him because he would easily have been able to press ‘next’ to switch between music and the football. I really wish this had been available then.
Tip: Follow the manual when you’re setting it up and you won’t have any problems.