|Ealing Backs Alzheimer's Campaign|
And hears from Councillor with personal experience
Ealing Councillors listened to a moving and personal speech before unanimously agreeing a motion supporting a new campaign by The Alzheimer's Society this week.
The Lib Dem Councillor for Ealing Common (and PPC for Ealing Central and Acton), Jon Ball, told the full Council meeting about his mother's experience of the condition - his speech is reproduced below:
My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s.
At first, she would just forget conversations she’d recently had. Then she started to struggle with simple tasks like handing over the right amount of money in a shop. My grandmother was over a hundred but she realised what was happening and worried that my mother was deteriorating. My mother’s condition was diagnosed and she was treated with Aricept but sadly that merely slows the progress of Alzheimer’s. It doesn’t halt it.
Later my mother hid money and valuables around the house because she was afraid that friends were going to steal them and started seeing people that weren’t there. She became completely dependent on my father for basic care and eventually had a fall and ended up in a care home. Shortly before the end, she stopped recognising me.
This motion is thus intensely personal to me. However, there is a broader need for residents of our borough to understand Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and to learn to give the two thirds of dementia sufferers who live in the community some help or a little extra time if they are struggling to cope with the effects of dementia. Try not to be impatient if the person in front of you at the tube station has to look through all their pockets to find their Oyster card or a constituent at your surgery has fears that may not be factually based. Realise that some people may need a little more time to find the right word and don’t jump in. Above all, recognise that people with dementia are still people.
Nick Clegg put mental health at the centre of his Conference speech last week. While his focus was on more treatable conditions such as depression and psychosis the theme that health issues that affect the brain should have parity with health issues that affect the body is an important one for all of us.
In conclusion, Mister Mayor, I hope the whole Council can join together in supporting this motion and supporting Ealing’s dementia sufferers.
Lib Dem Leader, Councillor Gary Malcolm, said:
''There are thousands of dementia sufferers in Ealing and there are many things that we can all do to help make the life of dementia sufferers happier. It was great to see all councillors support the motion. To show support, all of the Liberal Democrat Councillors have signed up as Dementia Friends, a Alzheimer’s Society initiative.”
He added: “It is good that Ealing Council welcomes the Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to ensure that by 2015 there are at least one million people who are Dementia Friends, people who understand more about dementia and the small things that can be done to help people with the condition.
16th October 2014