Kate and Jon Henderson have devoted the past decade to looking after their 67-year-old mother, Sally, who has dementia. At first the siblings, who, until this February shared their bungalow in Rottingdean, near Brighton with her, were able to cope. But as Sally’s condition worsened, she began to lose her balance and had to use a wheelchair. Her speech deteriorated so much that Jon and Kate had to anticipate her needs by reading her body language. They installed a wet room, a disabled access door and a hospital bed with rails.
Last year, constant urinary tract infections made Sally more confused and a bad cold led to acute illness because she could not clear her throat. Kate was so worried she began sleeping on an air bed in her mum’s room.