He Loves His Wife Through Her Dementia. And After This Happened, He No Longer Feels Alone.
By Will Stefanski
Bill Palmer is 95 years old and very lonely since his wife went into a nursing home. His wife has dementia and he’s had a rough time being without her. He visits her every day, but that does little to curb his loneliness. One morning, Palmer called into a local radio show and bared his soul across the airwaves. His story touched the hearts of many, resulting in the show’s host, Alex Dyke, ordering a cab to pick up Palmer and bring him to the radio station for company. Bill talked on the radio to callers, but what happened afterwards will warm your heart!
Palmer and his wife, Sheila, were married on June 2nd, 2014 after a 30 year friendship. Before getting married, Palmer had taken over as Sheila’s caregiver. Soon after their wedding in June, however, Sheila fell and hurt herself, resulting in her getting moved to a nursing home.
After Bill Palmer called into BBC Radio Solent his life took an unexpected turn. His radio broadcast made its way onto Facebook where tens of thousands of users listened to a recording of Palmer’s radio segment. Alex Dyke even encouraged people to send Palmer letters through the radio station.
Bill phoned BBC Radio Solent. He was upset, lonely and missing his wife.Alex decided to invite him in.We sent a cab to pick him up, have a listen to what happened next.
Posted by BBC Radio Solent on Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Bill Palmer has since received touching letters from all across the world. This, coupled with outpourings of friendship and support on Facebook, have shown Palmer and his wife the true meaning of community. Palmer has been invited into the lives of the people he’s touched. According to the BBC:
“[Bill Palmer] was offered Sunday lunch, afternoon trips out and a ukulele orchestra to play for him, but he kindly turned them all down.
Southampton FC invited Palmer to see his local team match off against AFC Bournemouth. Palmer told one caller during a radio broadcast, “I didn’t know such kindness existed.” It’s hard not to tear up watching Palmer’s react to the compassion reactions he’s received from people who’ve heard his story.
95 year old Bill Palmer is back in the studio to chat to Alex Dyke about the global response to his loneliness.
Posted by BBC Radio Solent on Friday, November 6, 2015
The most touching part of Palmer’s story, however, is that he originally phoned into the the show during a segment about “Love — Later In Life.” It’s inspiring to see how Palmer’s community has gathered around him to make him feel less lonely, but all of this was inspired by Palmer’s love for his wife. Palmer says he visits her every day, despite her dementia making his interactions with her difficult.
Bill Palmer reminds us that no matter how hard life gets, love is the most important thing…
In sickness and in health.