dementia week - chatty benches in Nantwich

Dear Editor,
Following Dementia Action Week (13-19 May 2024), I want to thank the many people across the North West who took part, either by talking publicly about their own experience of a dementia diagnosis, engaging with events, social media or wearing a Forget Me Not appeal badge for someone they love.

There are over 980,000 people living with dementia across the UK. In the North West there are 106,000 people living with the condition, with that figure set to rise 147,000 by 2040.

Sadly, one in three people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime.

Staggeringly, a third of people with dementia do not have a diagnosis, meaning there are thousands of people affected by the UK’s biggest killer not receiving the support, care and treatment they desperately need.

As a family we were unprepared for my mother Margaret’s early-onset dementia diagnosis, seventeen years ago. I wish we’d known more about dementia sooner, so we could have better supported her.

Early and accurate diagnosis is vital. She was a truly exceptional mother, wife and businesswoman prior to her dementia diagnosis, and I miss the person she used to be every single day.

My plea to anyone reading this is not to struggle on their own and to seek support. I know from experience that dementia can be very isolating.

If you’re worried about yourself, or someone close to you, then use Alzheimer’s Society’s symptom checklist, visit or call their Dementia Support Line on 0333 150 3456. No one should face dementia alone.

Yours sincerely,

Gareth Locke
Alzheimer’s Society Supporter

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