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A few years ago, just after my nan passed away, my grandad was diagnosed with dementia. Lewy Body Dementia. It was a struggle at the time as we were all still grieving over the death of my nan however we all pulled together and cared for my grandad. The care got impossible after a while though and he ended up having to be put in care where he later passed away.
In March 2017, my mother, aged 55, was diagnosed with dementia. Frontal Temporal Lobe Dementia. For a while, my family and I had seen some changes in my mum's behaviour and memory. She would go to work and come home early and not even know she had been to work or why she was home early. She would be driving then suddenly not know how to use her car. What made us realise most of all was when my older sister found some letters from my mum's work saying that they felt that she needed to take some time off as she wasn't performing to the best of her ability. At this point my sister confronted my mum who seemed confused about the whole situation. The concerns for my mum grew at this point so my sister took it upon herself to contact my mum's work. My mum had worked as a Teaching Assistant for a long time, she had years worth of experience and she loved her job, so for her to have received a letter like this seemed a little unsettling for us all. We were on the understanding that my mum had just been going through a break up with her partner and she was grieving the loss of both her parents so we thought maybe them two major events could have been the trigger for mums behaviour.
After speaking with my mum's boss and work colleagues, my sister was shocked and concerned as a result of what they had been saying about mum. They told her that my mum had been verbally aggressive towards other staff and she had no patience with this children and she seemed to have a bad attitude when she was at work. The behaviours that the other staff were describing were not right for my mum. Ok, she wasn't a massive fan of her job, and she was going though a hard time but she was passionate in helping those children and she was never an aggressive person. In the end, mum ended up going off work and on the sick and we started to see a change in her behaviour so we took her to the doctors and explained the memory loss and the huge change in personality and from that day, the doctors and nurses throughout Wigan ran tests on mum which resulted in her diagnosis of dementia. My mother doesnt have many close family relatives left, just her 3 children and we are all currently work/studying full time aswell as caring for my mum 24/7 as we cannot afford care and if she was to go into care we would lose the home she worked so hard on and the home she didn't have chance to leave on her Will for her children. So I am arranging this walk in memory of my grandad and also to help the Alsymers Society build on their resources and hopefully find more cures and ways of prevention for this terrible, heartbreaking disease. Dementia is an awful disease and one I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. So please, if you can, give a little to help us beat dementia. Not just for our sakes but for other families who are currently battling on a day to day basis with dementia and maybe for the future so you know your family members may have a chance of survival if they were to be diagnosed in the future.
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Rachael Wilding started crowdfunding