News

After 49 years of marriage Tweed Heads couple still in love

 Lennie and Betty Caple are maintaining their loving relationship despite Betty’s dementia.
Lennie and Betty Caple are maintaining their loving relationship despite Betty’s dementia.

IT'S a love story usually reserved for Hollywood.

A couple so in love they light up whenever they see each other - even after 49 years of marriage.

The only problem is, she can no longer communicate with him.

Betty Caple, 71, has dementia and is now a resident at the Tweed Heads Nursing Centre's "lavender retreat" ward.

"The hardest part is leaving her every day," husband Lennie, 75, explained.

"My son thinks she had it (dementia) a lot longer, but I couldn't see it. I was too close."

Mr Caple said he had to make the painful decision to put his wife into the centre last April.

"They tell me there's about 50-55 types of dementia," he said.

"Betty has lost most of her speech. Other people lose memory.

"They're doing lots of research but there's no way you can recover."

Mr Caple said he was thankful his wife still recognised him, their children and grandchildren.

"I'm not going anywhere, not while she still recognises me."

He said he spends most of his days keeping his wife company, going for walks and swims together.

"If it wasn't for her mental health, she would be as fit as a fiddle."

Mr Caple said his main advice for others coping with a loved one with dementia was to be accepting. "You've got to accept that you're going to lose them and you're going to have to change yourself a lot to fit in.

"You have to be accepting of them. They don't know what they're doing."

Fast facts

Dementia is not a disease, but rather an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms. It affects thinking, behaviour and everyday tasks.

People over 65 are most affected, but it's not a normal part of aging.

Most common types: Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and Parkinson's disease.

For information, visit fightdementia.org.au or call 1800 100 500.

Topics:  dementia



Where the "who's who” in biz will be this weekend

TIME TO SHINE: Patrons at the launch of the 2016 BEATS awards at Babalou, Kingscliff.

The theme is sequins and sparkles; the guest list Tweed's top crop

Patients being treated but no access to medical records

Doctors have returned to their rooms at the Kingscliff Family Medical Services Clinic but remain in dispute over business records.

Kingscliff doctors return to rooms to treat patients

Council's $200k woes: what cops are doing about it

NSW police at coffs harbour boat ramp, arrest , gun, shots, handcuffs

Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Thieves consider Tweed Council to be a "soft target"

Latest deals and offers

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

Joe Jonas' 'tough' pals

Joe Jonas' pals are 'tough' with his potential partners

The Bachelor wash up: bacon, plank offs and that white rose

Richie Strahan, second from left, with bachelorettes Eliza, Faith, Noni and Janey in a scene from episode one of the fourth season of The Bachelor.

RICHIE Strahan meets some beautiful, and colourful, bachelorettes.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started