Ser­vices pro­vide hope

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By EMILY BAKER

EVEN with the daily strug­gles of liv­ing with de­men­tia, Bill and Valma Wyn­horst still man­age to keep a smile on their faces.

“Be­lieve me I have my days where I cry lots and you can’t help it, but we have to laugh about some of things he does some­times,” Mrs Wyn­horst said.

Eight years ago, the Swanbourne cou­ple’s world was turned up­side down when Mr Wyn­horst was di­ag­nosed with the isolating dis­ease, which af­fects more than 30,000 West Aus­tralians.

Now, the once very ac­tive fa­ther of four strug­gles to speak, read and write, de­pend­ing solely on Mrs Wyn­horst, fam­ily and the ser­vices pro­vided by Alzheimer’s WA.

“It can be ter­ri­bly frus­trat­ing – I don’t think you can sim­ply ex­plain to peo­ple how dif­fi­cult it is,” Mrs Wyn­horst said.

“I am lucky that I’ve got support, but so many oth­ers don’t and I think that if I’d stayed on my own with him I feel as though I would have gone crazy.”

Alzheimer’s Aus­tralia WA’s in­au­gu­ral De­men­tia Aware­ness Month was of­fi­cially launched last week at the Art Gallery of WA.

WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Rhonda Parkin said the cam­paign aimed to raise aware­ness, of­fer support and re­duce the stigma as­so­ci­ated with the dis­ease.

“De­men­tia Aware­ness Month is a time for peo­ple to ed­u­cate them­selves on a dis­ease that sadly will im­pact, di­rectly or in­di­rectly, most mem­bers of our com­mu­nity at some point in their lives,” Ms Parkin said.

Events dur­ing De­men­tia Aware­ness Month in­clude Dress Down for De­men­tia.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d425397

Valma and Bill Wyn­horst hope De­men­tia Aware­ness Month will of­fer support to other fam­i­lies liv­ing with the dis­ease.

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