Many of you know that I bring my dog Thatcher (yes her real name) into work each year to raise money for The Blue Cross Pet Charity. This year, I can't bring her in due to work commitments on the 16th, so instead will be taking her, and my wife Suzanne and two-year-old Isobel on The Alzheimer's Society's Memory Walk in aid of those caring for people with dementia.
We will undertake one of the many Memory Walks taking place this month organised by The Alzheimer's Society - and will be doing the organised three mile walk from Hassop Station along the Monsal Trail. To be honest, it is not much of an ordeal, but I will ensure that my little girl walks the three miles there and back, or I will carry her - I promise not to use a buggy. If I think of any other ways to make it harder, I will - suggestions on a postcard please.
I know we are on hard times, but this is a truly great cause, that may affect some of us directly or indirectly as we get into the later years of our lives. Please give what you can spare :-)
As for why I am doing this.
My own father fell to this horrible disease in February 2008 and I cannot express what an awful and devastating illness it is for the sufferer and loved ones around them. Luckily my father receives excellent specialist care 24 hours a day, but many people are not so lucky. I want raise something in gratitude to those who look after my father and those who need care - the statistics speak for themselves.
According to The Alzheimer's Society
- There are currently 700,000 people with dementia in the UK.
- There are currently 15,000 younger people with dementia in the UK.
- There are over 11,500 people with dementia from black and minority ethnic groups in the UK.
- There will be over a million people with dementia by 2025.
- Two thirds of people with dementia are women.
- The proportion of people with dementia doubles for every 5 year age group.
- One third of people over 95 have dementia.
- 60,000 deaths a year are directly attributable to dementia.
- Delaying the onset of dementia by 5 years would reduce deaths directly attributable to dementia by 30,000 a year.
- The financial cost of dementia to the UK is over £17 billion a year.
- Family carers of people with dementia save the UK over £6 billion a year.
- 64% of people living in care homes have a form of dementia.
- Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community while one third live in a care home.