Raising awareness of dementia

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 October 2015

Peter and Christine Broderick.

Peter and Christine Broderick.


Patients are hoping to raise more awareness of dementia to enable people to get the help and support they need.

Statistics show dementia is on the increase and the number of people diagnosed with the condition is expected to continue rising as people are living longer.

The patient groups of Nailsea Family Practice and Backwell and Nailsea Medical Group are putting on a dementia information evening on Tuesday so people can find out more about the illness and what support is available.

GPs, representatives from the memory clinic and experts will be talking about how the condition is diagnosed and treated before two people talk about their experiences of caring for loved ones with dementia.

Peter Broderick, from Nailsea, will be speaking about caring for his wife Christine who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004.

Peter, aged 81, said: “At first we carried on doing a lot of things as normal until about 2007 when there was a more rapid deterioration.

“I gradually took over all the domestic chores and it was a question of reminding her what day it was and making sure she did what she should be doing.

“It gradually got worse and I got more help. A lady came in once a week so I could go out and play golf and in 2008 she started going to day care as the doctors thought it would benefit both of us.

“In 2013 I had to let Chris go into full time care because of my health, but I go in every day to see her.”

Christine now lives at Argentum Lodge, which is just five minutes from Peter’s home, and he goes in every day to help her eat as she can no longer feed herself or walk.

When asked what advice he would give to people caring for their loved ones, he said: “It’s very difficult and every case and every relationship is different.

“Christine and I were very close, we’ve been married for 56 years, and it’s so hard to see the person who is the linchpin of your life in the state she’s in. It’s a very cruel disease.

“First you need to realise there is support. You can speak to your GP and the Alzheimer’s Society and ask for advice. Don’t be afraid to accept help, there’s no merit in being proud and trying to do it all by yourself.

“I would encourage people to take every bit of help they can because it does help.”

Dr Ed Mann, the dementia lead at Nailsea Family Practice is delighted the awareness event has been organised due to the growing number of people the disease affects.

He said: “Memory problems and dementia are hugely important and will affect a growing proportion of us or those that are close to us.

“This event will be a series of talks by local GPs, specialists from the local memory service, a national figure in dementia strategy as well as some personal experiences of carers of people with dementia.

“We also hope to tackle some of the more legal aspects of dementia including power of attorney, which can be so difficult.

“There will be a question and answer session and also stalls and support from organisations involved in dementia care so people can find out what is available to them locally.”

The free event is being held in the green lecture theatre at Nailsea School, in Mizzymead Road, from 7.30-9.30pm and refreshments will be available.

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