Making a difference for dementia sufferers

Ian Botham’s article in the Daily Telegraph, Saturday May 24, highlights the dilemma many family members feel when their loved ones succumb to Dementia/Alzheimer’s.

Sir Ian was quite candid in admitting it became impossible for him to visit his father in the final stages of this disease. In the course of my work I see family members everyday who are looking for best care for mum or dad with this dreadful illness. I go on the journey with these traumatised enquirers as they face the onslaught of guilt, fear and pain. Guilt, because they may have promised their parents they would never put them in a care home, fear, because the journey ahead for them and their parents is uncharted territory and pain because they are slowly losing their parents to a disease that robs them of their memories.

Most of us know someone who is afflicted with dementia and the most recent statistics tell us this disease is on the increase with alarming speed.

I consider myself one of the fortunate ones who works for an organisation that understands the dementia journey and seeks to celebrate our beloved residents’ lives in every aspect, whatever stage they are at on this journey. However there is still a great deal of ignorance about this illness and like everywhere, funds to find a cure are hampered by monetary constraints. This is why our dementia director, Sheena Wylie is spearheading a “selfie” campaign to raise awareness and much needed funds to help us fight this vicious memory-robbing illness. So I ask everyone to join me in fighting back. Can I ask you to go to the Barchester Healthcare website where you will find the instructions to create a memory “selfie”. Once you have done this just post it on your facebook page and hopefully others will follow, www.barchester.com, or you can text CURE to 70555 to donate £5.

Together we can make a difference.

Patrick Gillan

Hurstwood View Care Home