Bid to have vil­lage de­men­tia friendly

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Ross Thom­son

A woman who saw her late hus­band struck down by de­men­tia is spear­head­ing New­mains’ drive to be­come more de­men­tia friendly.

Ray Fal­lon has been ap­pointed the NCT Cen­tre’s de­men­tia friendly co-or­di­na­tor less than five months af­ter hus­band James lost his six year bat­tle with the crip­pling disease at the age of just 56.

Shotts woman Ray, 55, said: “This job has came at the right time for me.

“James was di­ag­nosed with de­men­tia when he was only 50.

“The knowl­edge I have gained over the years has been im­mense.

“This ser­vice is very much needed for those liv­ing with de­men­tia and their car­ers.”

Ray and James had re­turned from a sur­prise hol­i­day in Spain with 24 friends to cel­e­brate James’s 50th birth­day when he be­gan to lack co­or­di­na­tion and he seemed ner­vous.

James was even­tu­ally di­ag­nosed with cor­ti­cobasal de­gen­er­a­tion (CBD) – a rare brain con­di­tion that cur­rently af­fects only 100 peo­ple in the UK.

It is caused by in­creas­ing numbers of brain cells be­com­ing da­m­aged or dy­ing over time and the only re­search into the con­di­tion is done dur­ing post-mortem.

Ray is de­ter­mined to help car­ers and de­men­tia suf­fer­ers in her new role at the cen­tre which kicks-off with a launch day on Fri­day, July 20.

Ray said: “We are look­ing to do a num­ber of things over the next few months.

“These in­clude a be­friend­ing ser­vice, a drop- in cafe which we hope will be in part­ner­ship with Alzheimer Scot­land, mu­si­cal acts and en­ter­tain­ment even­ings.

“We are also plan­ning a gar­den­ing pro­gramme and a car­ers drop-in cen­tre.

“There will also be tea dances with en­ter­tain­ment. It’s a big job.”

Draw­ing on her own ex­pe­ri­ence, Ray is con­vinced the ser­vice will be vi­tal for car­ers strug­gling to cope with the de­mands of a per­son di­ag­nosed with de­men­tia.

She added: “It’s won­der­ful if peo­ple can speak to some­one who com­pletely un­der­stands what they are go­ing through.

“All of the ser­vices are fan­tas­tic and do great work but on a per­sonal level it’s com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

“Hav­ing some­one to talk to can make all the dif­fer­ence.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the launch on July 20 con­tact the NCT Cen­tre on 01698 386403 or email ray@nct­cen­

De­men­tia co-or­di­na­tor Ray Fal­lon

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