This Dementia Action Week, around 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, and with an ageing population somebody is diagnosed every three minutes. But it doesn’t just affect the person with the condition, it can take a toll on those caring for a loved one.
Now well over a year into the pandemic, people with dementia and their families are still getting to grips with how lockdown impacted their wellbeing.
Only Fools and Horses actor Sue Holderness spoke to The Big Issue about her mother’s dementia diagnosis and fighting for social care reforms.
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Dementia… that scary word. My darling mum began to get confused and forgetful in her early eighties. It was clearly horribly upsetting for her to find that words just disappeared. (She was always a compulsive reader and very good at all word games). Her short-term memory became fuzzy, and it was sad to witness the distress that it caused her.
Her personality remained the same though, sweet and loving and appreciative of all that my sister and I did for her. We were lucky enough to be able to care for her ourselves until the end. But I have, since my mum died, become very close to a few people with quite profound memory problems, and have seen how difficult it is for the people concerned and particularly to their loved ones who often need to become carers.