A DEVOTED wife has been recognised for the care she has given to her poorly husband over the past 13 years.
Sandra Falkner, from Barnes, Sunderland, took home the Unpaid Carer of the Year award at the Regional Carer Finals, held at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead.
The mum-of-two has been looking after husband Bill, who suffers from Alzheimer’safter he was diagnosed at 55, for over a decade.
Bill is now in a care home but Sandra continues to see him every day and is also a big supporter of the Alzheimer’sSociety, helping to keep services provided by the organisation for those with the disease after it was left under threat due to funding cuts.
Sandra is now in the running for the National Carer of the Year gong, in which she will attend another glitzy bash.
Speaking about her award, Sandra, 66, who is mum to Scott, 41, and Adam, 33, said: “The night was fantastic and to win the award was just amazing.
“There were hundreds of people nominated from the North East and they managed to whittle it down after reading through the nomination forms.
“It seemed like I was the only person there from Sunderland, but it’s just nice to be noticed for the work I’ve done over the years.”
Adam, who went along with his mum to the awards night, said: “Since my dad’s diagnosis, my mum has fought for my dad’s right to have the best of care, which led on to fighting for the rights of all Alzheimer’ssufferers and their carers within the Sunderland area.
“A typical example of this is when one of the local Alzheimer’scarers’ retreats was going to be closed down.
“This café received funding through some of the campaigning she did to make sure the facility stayed open, for both those with Alzheimer’sand those who care for them.
“This is just a sample of the work she has done.
“I’ve always been proud of her and it was great to see her up on stage getting the award.”
Chief executive of Care England, Martin Green, said: “The Great British Care Awards have quickly established themselves as the most important awards in the care sector.
“The winners and nominees are some of the most outstanding people in care and the Great British Care Awards give them recognition that they deserve for their hard work and commitment.”