Dementia in focus22nd September 2006
Sir Cliff Richard, who is a patron of Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART), has spoken out movingly about his motherâ€™s battle with dementia.
The singer has spoken on Radio 4's You and Yours to support World Alzheimerâ€™s Day, which was on September 21st.
Sir Cliff'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 didn'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 "I 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."
â€œNow 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 her.ï¿½ï¿½? he adds.
The theme of World Alzheimer's Day, 2006 is 'No time to lose!'; 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 Alzheimer's disease compared with other illnesses.
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Saturday 23rd September 2006 @ 22:38
I fully empathise with Sir Cliff and know exactly what he and his family has and are still going through. My mother is the same age and is also suffering with Alzheimer's and in a care home now. My sister and I placed her in a home back in March this year and it was extremely heartbreaking and very emotional for everyone concerned. The tears every time we left her just made us feel so guilty, but she needed 24hr care and as my father died 32 years ago, this was the only solution and the best place we could find for her. She doesn't know what day of the week it is, or what time or even know who I am anymore as living in the Algarve, Portugal, I only get to see her every 5-6 months or so, but I get updates on her condition every week from my sister.
It's so very sad to see a parent end up this way and become a shadow of their former self. There is no quality of life anymore for her and it's such a contrast from her years in variety theatre and post war Royal Command performances. But this is life I suppose and we have to accept the good times and the not so good. I'm extremely proud of my mother and I know she has enjoyed a good life until this disease took a hold of her. I hope someday that we can find a cure for this devastating condition and that more services will be available to help not just those with this awful condition but their families too.
I fully support everything charities do to raise global awareness. Let's keep up the good work and pray that one day it will make all the difference.
Miss Abigail Navarre
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Title: Dementia in focus
Author: Chris May
Article Id: 823
Date Added: 22nd Sep 2006