It’s an uphill struggle with dementia

It’s an uphill struggle with dementia – and there’s not enough awareness out there

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Carers of loved ones with dementia have spoken out about the difficulties they face – ahead of a roadshow visiting Scunthorpe for the first time.

With more than 2,000 people estimated to be living with dementia in North Lincolnshire, the Alzheimer’s Society’s roadshow will provide much-needed information and advice about the condition.

The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Community Roadshow will visit Scunthorpe’s Gallagher Retail Park today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday, April 20), from 10am to 4pm.

Carers have spoken about how difficult it is to cope with the condition and how important it is to raise awareness.

Kay Matthews has been caring for her husband Garry for the past nine years.

Garry, 59, was diagnosed with dementia three years ago.

Kay, 52, from Scunthorpe, said: “It is very difficult for him to do things and have conversations.

“He does not think there is anything wrong with him.

“Sometimes he does not know whether it is morning or night.

“You have to live with dementia as well. You lose friends because people cannot handle how they are.

“There is not enough awareness out there.

“You have to fight to get a diagnosis and it is an uphill struggle.

“Whatever I have got, I have had to fight to get because of his age.”

Annette Malcolmson cares for her partner Michael Rocks, who is 62 and has dementia.

Michael was diagnosed with the illness three-and-a-half years ago, and Annette has been caring for him for five years.

Annette, 57, from Scunthorpe, said: “It is very difficult to get a diagnosis for someone under 65 who has dementia.

“It took a long time for us to get a diagnosis.

“The only reason we got a diagnosis is because Michael’s sister used to work on a psychiatric geriatric ward.

“It has to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist.

“Michael does not like being away from me.

“He feels very insecure when I am not around.”

Sarah Moody, locality manager in the region for the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are delighted that the dementia community roadshow is back in the Yorkshire and Humber region and hope as many people as possible will take advantage of this free information service.

“The roadshow helps us reach out to communities, tackle stigma by raising awareness of the condition and speak to people who are worried about their memory one to one and encourage them to visit their GP.”

Tesco is supporting the roadshows.

Josh Hardie, Tesco head of corporate responsibility, said: “We are extremely proud to help Alzheimer’s Society raise awareness of dementia.

“The roadshow is part of the legacy from our charity of the year partnership with the society and we hope that it contributes to building a better future for people with dementia.”

For more information, visit