Unpaid Carer of the Year award nominee
Irene was nominated by Cecilia Tsang, who attended the award ceremony on her behalf
Mrs Albrecht has cared for her husband for a number of years since he had bilateral knee replacement operations. Her caring responsibilities intensified when he was diagnosed with proximal deep vein thrombosis with presumed pulmonary embolism, halmatemesis, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Due to the nature of his illnesses, she has to keep an eye on him all day and night as he might eat too many times, have too much food or not enough to drink. She has to monitor his medication and hospital appointments as he has no idea what has been done or not done. She has to make sure he does not walk out of the door, go downstairs and get lost. He talks about things that happened in the past and forgets things happening at present, she has to swap time herself in order to keep his conversation going.
Mrs Albrecht has to do all the shopping, taking her husband along to carry the bags as he no longer knows what to buy. In his words, he is doing some sort of physical exercises. He is very happy and says his wife is a “second brain for him”. Mrs Albrecht thinks she is accompanying and supervising him when go out together, as it is not safe to leave him alone at home.
Mrs Albrecht is also disabled and is awaiting dates for knee replacement operations. She depends on a walking stick herself and has a lot of joint pains all over her body, which she thinks is due to too much hard work caring for her husband.
“She says as long as her husband is happy, she is happy."