Household names look to raise public awareness of dementia

21 September 2012

Gordon Banks, Sir Michael Parkinson and Fiona Phillips have looked back on their experiences of living around people with dementia, in the hope of getting the condition more attention.

The three household names are taking part in a government campaign which aims to get people who think they may be developing dementia to seek medical assistance. It has been launched to mark World Alzheimer's Day.

Broadcaster Phillips saw both her parents suffer from dementia, and believes her mother in particular could have handled the situation better had she been diagnosed earlier.

Recalling the heartbreaking moment she learnt her mother had the condition, Phillips noted: "Our house always smelt of baking when we were little and I used to love helping mum make cakes and there were always cakes in the tin.

"She rung me up at 3am one morning crying her eyes out and she said: 'I've forgotten how to make cakes'. And my childhood went then."

Sir Michael, whose mother also suffered from dementia, added that one of the most difficult factors of looking after a loved one with the condition "is that you lose them before they die".

Former England footballer Gordon, whose brother David developed the condition, recalled that the illness can get so bad that a person totally forgets what they are discussing during a conversation.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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