Grandmother takes steps to raise awareness of dementia
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