By Debbie le Quesne

Boots at the ready for Memory Walk

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The Great Gatsby actress Carey Mulligan has spoken candidly about her grandmother’s dementia on BBC Breakfast this morning.

Why? To urge people to join the fight against the condition by signing up to Alzheimer’s Society’s fundraiser Memory Walk next month.

She spoke affectionately about her grandma, ‘Nans’, now 87 and living at a care home in Wales.

Twelve years ago, she recalled, along with other family members she noticed her memory was failing.

“I was about 15 . . .16. I started to realise she was forgetful about things that I knew she would be passionate about and remember.

“She was a geography teacher and so she was always really interested in my education and what I was studying.  I remember picking my A-Levels and I told her what I was doing and she started not remembering what [the subjects] were and I thought, you love education and you are really excited about what I’m going to do, and she couldn’t remember them,” a report in Care Industry News says.

There was a refreshing honesty in the interview with Mulligan recalling the awkward moments while visiting her ‘Nans’ in the Pontadawe care home.

“The first time I went into the home and I sat talking to Nans, she had trouble communicating. I could talk to her, but often, other people in the home would try and talk to me or try to start a conversation and I would feel immediately nervous and think am I going to mess up this conversation because it’s slightly difficult sometimes.

“It can be a little bit challenging talking to somebody with dementia if you’re nervous – you don’t want to be patronising and I think a lot of people feel that,” the actress is quoted as saying.

There’s still a kind of awkwardness in talking to some people about the memory-loss condition and Mulligan rightly points out that the more people talking about it and raising awareness the more people will feel less scared of addressing the subject.

So many of the elderly people whom my members care for have some kind of dementia. It’s growing problem with an ageing society and the walk initiative is well worth a day of anyone’s time.

There are long and short walks and they are taking place next month all over the country. Visit http://www.memorywalk.org.uk/?gclid=COK85KP1jbkCFS3HtAod8mQAbA choose a walk in your area, try to raise sponsorship for a minimum of £50 and gets your boots ready.


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