An invisible army: Marilyn and Raymond McLocklin

Marilyn and Raymond were long time, very active, members of Oakdale Methodist Church and on its closure joined Broadstone Methodist Church.

They first met on a blind date and were married just 8 months later in 1962. On Raymond's retirement in 1991 they were able to travel round the world for 10 weeks on what would become a "trip of a lifetime". Raymond has subsequently experienced many years of ill health with cancer, a heart attack and two strokes. After his second stroke, Raymond was diagnosed with vascular dementia.  They are now unable to enjoy many of their favourite activities together, such as long walks in the Purbecks and holidays in the sun. Marilyn spends most of her time looking after Raymond with the help of carers who come in every day as his physical condition is deteriorating. He does like to read a daily paper, watch some television programmes and listen to music. He enjoys a trip to Stewart's Nursery and a bowl of soup for lunch, but such trips are becoming more difficult, getting him in and out of the car and using a wheelchair.

Marilyn values greatly a free sitting service provided by Poole Borough Council which she uses for a few hours per fortnight enabling her to go out with a friend. For the rest of the time it is very difficult for her to leave Raymond for very long. Another long-term Carer who attends Broadstone Methodist Church agreed with Marilyn, "there is a feeling of loss of freedom with your life entirely revolving around another person, but I wouldn't have it any other way."

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