Dementia in focus19th October 2006
Sir Cliff Richard, who is a patron of Alzheimerâ€™s Research Trust (ART), has spoken out movingly about his motherâ€™s battle with dementia.
The singer has spoken on Radio 4â€™s You and Yours programme to support World Alzheimerâ€™s Day, which was on September 21st.
Sir Cliffâ€™s 86-year-old mother has advanced dementia, is no longer able to communicate and now lives in a specialist care home. Sir Cliff and his sister Joan didnâ€™t recognize the early symptoms, and Sir Cliff speaks about the pain of her increasing illness and of having to move her into full time care.
He says â€œI personally felt as though I have already mourned my mum because the person we have with us is not the vibrant woman that we all knew. Not only has she stopped walking and talking, but she has stopped moving at all. We have lost our mother but we still have the woman who gave us life and we appreciate that, and do the best we can for herâ€? he adds.
The theme of World Alzheimerâ€™s Day, 2006 is â€˜No time to lose!â€™; it is the centenary of the year that Alois Alzheimer first described the disease that would later bear his name. Campaigners say they still struggle with the stigma attached to dementia, and the lack of services and treatments for people with Alzheimerâ€™s disease compared with other illnesses.
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