The Alzheimer’s society is bringing another glow walk to the streets of Salford, on the 19th of March 2022.

The Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. They aim to campaign to improve care and create “lasting change for people affected by dementia in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland”.

Dementia is a disease that attacks your memory. As well as this, it affects your thinking and social abilities enough to affect your daily life. Read more about this here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/about/ .

Glow walks are where society urges people to dress in neon clothes and bring glow sticks and “sport their brightest outfits” in an attempt to raise as much as possible for the 28,658 people living in Greater Manchester suffering from dementia.

Gemma Wilkinson, a Moston woman, is set to light up MediaCityUK, as well as hundreds of other fundraisers, after experiencing the impact of dementia first-hand.

The Alzheimer’s Society Glow walk in Battersea Park, London. 13 March 2020
Picture by Andrew Higgins/Thousand Word Media

The disease lives on both sides of her family, and she also witnesses in her work at a care home.

Gemma told us her story of her experience with Dementia.

“My gran on my dad’s side Janet Wilkinson passed away from vascular dementia in 2015,” she began.

“It was really hard seeing someone I’d spent so much of my life with lose so much of themselves.

“I have three children and with them, I get to see them progress, but this was the opposite. It was a regression and that’s very difficult.”

Gemma’s grandad, Eric Mayo, 85, also is suffering from dementia and is now living in a care home.

Photo from Gemma, given to the Alzheimer’s society of Eric and his grandchildren.

She describes how this has affected her by saying: “That was a really hard choice because we were moving him to a different environment, and he wouldn’t necessarily understand what was going on.”

However, he is happy where he is and tells people about his time in the army and likes to be in the garden.

Her life changed by being a part of what she is by working in a care home. The residents have become her family, and she said: “It’s hard because you do bring the work home with you and you think about the residents when you’re not there and worry about them if they’re not well.

“But I’m so glad I did it and I’m proud of myself. I didn’t see it as a job. I was going to spend time with family.”

On the 19th of March 2022, Gemma will do the walk through Media City with her eldest children, Mia 12 and Jake 10, and her husband Mike.

It will be the second time Gemma has taken part in this walk.

Following the recent pandemic, has made this a vital time for Manchester’s residents to glow and raise these life-changing dementia funds.

Alzheimer’s Society’s services, including the Dementia Contact support line, have been used over six million times since the beginning of the pandemic.

Despite this, people are still facing it alone.

Photo taken by the Alzheimer’s Society

Sue Clarke, the Alzheimer’s Society Area Manager for Manchester, said: “Nobody should have to face dementia alone without adequate support. That’s why we’re urging the people of Manchester to shine a light on dementia alongside your family and friends this March and help make a difference in the fight against dementia.

“Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide vital information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by the condition.”

The total costs for those who are living with dementia in the UK is £34.7 billion, which is an equivalent of around £40,000 per person.

The Alzheimer’s Society aim to spend around £100 million to research over the next decade.

They aim to research into cause, care, cure, and prevention of all types of dementia.

Picture by Andrew Higgins – Thousand Word Media – The Alzheimer’s Society’s first Ready Steady GLOW night time Memory Walk in Bristol, starting and finishing in Millennium Square. – 2 March 2019

If you want to be one of those to help fight the battle against Alzheimer’s. Sign up here at alzheimers.org.uk/glow .

 

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