Brenda Franke, 56, from Bromsgrove is taking part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk in Sutton Park, Birmingham, to remember her mother, raise awareness about dementia and money to combat the condition.
She will join a current total of 4,000 supporters already registered to take part in the Birmingham Memory Walk, which will be on 16 September. People can register for Memory Walk as individuals or as a team. The walk will take place over two distances with options as to undertaking a 3.5 km or 5.5 km route.
Brenda said: “My beloved Mum had Alzheimer’s. Sadly she died in 2013, after becoming ill following a short time in a Care Home where her condition was managed badly. Mum was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 4 years prior to her death. She became very forgetful and kept repeating herself. She suffered mood swings and became agitated at times. As the condition worsened over time so did her memory and mood swings. One morning, whilst Dad was asleep, Mum left the house wearing two skirts two blouses slippers but no tights (she always wore her tights) and walked into town with the dog (not on a lead) crossing a number of busy roads on the way. We were all out searching for her in a panic and the Police were involved. A neighbour spotted her and brought her home to our enormous relief. That was an awful time.
“I do hope and pray that more money is put into research to try and find a cure for this awful disease. Staff in Care Homes, Nursing Homes and hospitals so need to be better trained to deal with dementia patients and to give them the dignity and respect they deserve. Tighter regulation of Care Homes and Carers is needed to ensure they are providing the best care possible to people with dementia.
“I will be supporting Alzheimer’s Society in its efforts to raise awareness and funds. I am signed up for the Memory Walk at Sutton Park in September and am walking with my sisters (we are called Sister Act) in memory of our lovely Mum who we miss every day more and more. I hope to carry on fundraising in the future.”
More than 26,000 people over-65 in Birmingham and the Black Country are estimated to be living with dementia and last year’s event at the smaller location of Cannon Hill Park was attended by 5000 people, raising more than £322,000 to help people living with the condition.
Janice Le Tellier, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire said: “Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer. We are calling on family, friends – and furry four-legged supporters – to unite against dementia this autumn. Dementia devastates lives. Walk with us at Memory Walk and dementia won’t win. Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia. Alzheimer’s Society is urgently calling on people to register now at memorywalk.org.uk and unite against dementia.”