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Spouse of Annapolis Valley man with dementia encourages others to seek support

A man is sitting wearing a green and yellow plaid shirt, light blue ball cap and he has a white goatee.

As a continuing care assistant for 25 years, Lynn Hebb was very familiar with what to expect when working and living with someone with Dementia. However, caring for her husband of 29 years full time, proved to be more than she expected.

For more than 22 years, Keith Hebb was a truck driver, delivering farm equipment to customers from Aylesford to Yarmouth and Bridgewater. He is well known in the small community of Aylesford, where the couple resides, and in many neighbouring communities having connected with so many people through his work. According to Lynn, Keith was very social and enjoyed visiting with his friends, camping and volunteering at community events.

About five years ago, family and friends began noticing changes to his memory and in 2020 Keith was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, which affected his memory, speech and coordination. Faced with this reality and not sure of the journey ahead, Lynn set out to care for her husband at home for as long as possible.

In addition to requiring care during the day, Keith began to wander at night and the frequency continued to increase. One night he left their property and was found many hours later close to a nearby highway. Following this experience and being admitted to hospital for her own health issues, Lynn began to realize that Keith needed more help than she alone could provide. In 2022, she reached out to Nova Scotia Health Continuing Care for support.

Through Continuing Care, the Hebbs received funding for 20 hours of respite care a week that provided Lynn the opportunity to leave home for brief periods of time, knowing that Keith was well cared for.  Continuing Care also arranged for a home care agency to visit five times a week to help Keith with personal care (e.g., bathing, getting dressed, personal hygiene, etc.). Keith also attended a day program in Berwick twice a week where he participated in social activities, music therapy, crafts and received home cooked meals. “He loved going to this program,” said Lynn.

“Keith and Lynn are the folks I always enjoyed visiting, [they were] always so welcoming, always beginning a visit with a smile and [had me] leaving the home with laughter. It was a pleasure being on their team for this journey and ensuring their goals and wishes were always part of our planning” – Thane Borden, Continuing Care Coordinator at Western Kings Memorial Health Centre.

Following coordinated efforts between their Continuing Care Coordinator, primary healthcare physician and psychiatrist, Keith was recently admitted to a long-term care facility in Bridgetown at the age of 60. Bridgetown is about 30 minutes from Aylesford and Lynn visits her husband twice each week. “He is making friends,” said Lynn, “they have a great recreation program, and keep him involved.”

Lynn is encouraging others to ask for help to care for loved ones. “There is help and it is important to reach out for help before you suffer from caregiver burnout,” said Lynn.

If you or your loved one needs assistance to remain in your home or require support following a recent hospital stay anywhere in Nova Scotia, you can be referred to Nova Scotia Health Continuing Care. For more information or to make a referral, please call 1-800-225-7225 (toll free in Nova Scotia). Once you make a referral, Continuing Care will work with you or your loved one to create a plan of care that is right for you. For more information, visit

Photo of Keith Hebb.

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