Nursing leader from North Lincs opens up about husband's Alzheimer's diagnosis aged 55

Nicki Credland and her husband, Keith. Credit: Nicki Credland

A nurse from North Lincolnshire, who has been fighting for the rights of NHS workers during the pandemic, has opened up about her husband's diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer's disease.

Nicki Credland, who is chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses and trained nurses for Yorkshire's Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate, is hoping to raise awareness of the condition.

She says she also wants to remind people that nurses have been facing the toughest challenges of their careers, while dealing with personal issues at home like everyone else.

Nicki says her husband Keith has long been a supporter of her work supporting critical care nurses and training nurses of the future at the University of Hull.But after experiencing memory problems, she asked him to seek medical help. He was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the age of 55 in 2018.

Credit: Nicki Credland

The former builder's condition has worsened since to the point that he was moved into residential care late last year.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion and personality changes. Around 850,000 people in the UK are thought to be living with dementia but only around 40,000 of those are believed to be under the age of 65.

"Part of it was relief, great somebody's actually realised that there is a problem and we can start management - he'll get the support that he needs - but equally it's an utterly devastating diagnosis.

"There's no 'we might get better, we might improve'."The Alzheimer's Society says getting a timely and accurate diagnosis is important but can take longer for a younger person - partly because of a lack of awareness that dementia can affect younger people.

Dementia is often misdiagnosed among under 65s as depression or anxiety-related, according to the charity.

Where to get help:

The charity has a dedicated Dementia Connect support line offering information, advice and support, as well as a Talking Point online community offering tips and guidance.For more information visit