Grand­mother takes steps to raise aware­ness of de­men­tia

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

A GRAND­MOTHER whose hus­band suf­fers from de­men­tia is or­gan­is­ing a walk to raise aware­ness of the con­di­tion.

Jean Ather­ton, who lives on Blair Gowrie Drive in Tyther­ing­ton, says de­men­tia is ‘in­vis­i­ble’ in that symp­toms can­not al­ways be seen.

She is also wor­ried fund­ing might be cut for or­gan­i­sa­tions sup­port­ing car­ers, like her­self, of those living with the ill­ness.

She said: “We were very sad when my hus­band was di­ag­nosed six years ago and were de­ter­mined to carry on as nor­mal but it is very hard. Peo­ple need to be more sym­pa­thetic as it’s not vis­i­ble and it’s easy to over­look some­thing you can’t see.”

Jean at­tends Mac­cles­field Peer Sup­port Group at Mac­cles­field Her­itage Cen­tre but said she re­ceived a let­ter say­ing the group may have to end this month due to lack of fund­ing. The group has now said it will try to carry on but Jean says a sim­i­lar group in Con­gle­ton has al­ready closed due to lack of funds.

She said: “Car­ers don’t want the lime­light but need sup­port. As a carer you have to re­search or­gan­i­sa­tions your­self that can help you. Many more vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, es­pe­cially those who can’t use the in­ter­net, suf­fer in si­lence.

“We are say­ing by do­ing the walk that de­men­tia isn’t a stigma but it ex­ists so don’t ig­nore it and look af­ter the peo­ple who look af­ter those who have it.”

The walk, Walk A Mile In My Shoes, which any­one is in­vited to join, will take place on Sun­day, June 12 from Tyther­ing­ton Fam­ily Wor­ship Church car park, on Dorch­ester Way, to the Tyther­ing­ton Club and back and walk­ers can join any­time be­tween 2pm and 4pm.

Do­na­tions will be col­lected in buck­ets on the day and the church will serve tea and scones af­ter­wards.

Tak­ing part will be Mac­cles­field Cas­tle Ro­tary Club and Lions Club mem­bers and Tyther­ing­ton ward coun­cil­lor Ains­ley Arnold.

MP for Mac­cles­field David Rut­ley will also be at­tend­ing along with the new Mayor of Mac­cles­field, Coun Alift Hare­wood-Jones, and Pam Jag­ger, from Prest­bury, who set up the Golden Mem­o­ries group for peo­ple with the con­di­tion at Tyther­ing­ton Fam­ily Wor­ship Church.

Pam, who cares for her hus­band, who has de­men­tia, said: “There aren’t enough re­sources avail­able and de­men­tia is such a grow­ing prob­lem.

“The walk is about mak­ing peo­ple more de­men­tia friendly and let­ting them know de­men­tia is with us and won’t go away.

“Other car­ers un­der­stand what we’re go­ing through but some­times the gen­eral pub­lic aren’t as kind.”

●● Pam Jag­ger, left, from Golden Mem­o­ries, with Jean Ather­ton, far right, and ladies tak­ing part in the Walk A Mile In My Shoes event in Tyther­ing­ton

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