1. ITV Report

Dementia patients 'just want love', says 96 year-old carer

Fred and Connie Snelling Photo: ITV News

A man, 96, from Somerset is urging people to learn more about dementia, saying most patients "just want love".

Fred Snelling's wife Connie was diagnosed with the condition 12 years ago and now lives in a specialist care home in Yeovil.

However Fred says the condition is hidden away from view.

"People generally have got to know more about this problem. We hide it away too much. People have got to come and see the homes. Visit the homes - they'll welcome you."

He added, "most of the people really want love. They want someone to hold their hand. Hold their hand - just give it a little squeeze. You don't know what they're thinking, the brain is a funny old thing."

Fred and Connie on their wedding day 75 years ago. Credit: ITV News

Fred won a Somerset Care Award this year for helping patients in the home, including his wife who he visits every day.

He's always willing to help. He can never leave something without helping. Just having that nice, big bubbly personality is just so nice to have somebody that comes into the home and is always really enthusiastic to be here.

– Ema McConnell

The husband and wife have been married for 75 years, and despite dementia, Fred insists he will always be there to hold Connie's hand. Something every dementia patient needs.