John Whitmarsh

Name: John Whitmarsh
Age: 65

Cares For: Barbara Whitmarsh, Wife
Your Turn To Care Episode: "Do"

His Story: John says it was love at first sight when he met Barbara and he asked her to marry him after just a week. But her illness has caused the woman who has been his dearest companion to change drastically. A scientist, now retired, John has the 24/7 job of caring for his wife as she slowly disappears into her illness. Their children worry about the stress and strain of caregiving on their father. John admits he has trouble asking for help and can't imagine moving his wife into a full-time care facility even though he knows that day will come. He finds companionship and a safe place to share his emotions in a caregiver support group for family members of patients with frontotemporal degeneration and Alzheimer's disease.

Reflections: "So far as I know, she's never grieved over this. We never put our arms around each other and say, I love you and I'll miss you. I can do that, but she just sort of is perplexed by my emotion."

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MetLife Foundation The Lippey Family Trust Gladyce L. Foster
California Community Foundation