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Thousands unite against dementia at Clumber Park Memory Walk

Posted onPosted on 10th Oct

A sea of almost 3,000 people walked through Clumber Park for Alzheimer’s Society’s Clumber Park Memory Walk. A huge crowd of walkers, many of whom had photos of loved ones pinned to their blue shirts, gathered at the beauty spot before completing a 2.5km or 8km route in aid of dementia research.

Ken Baker cut the ribbon at the start of the event to get walkers under way. Ken was taking part in his first ever Memory Walk in support of his wife of 22 years, Carol, aged 64, who is currently living with frontotemporal dementia, also known as Pick’s disease.

Carol’s diagnosis was lifechanging for the couple: Carol’s behaviour noticeably changed, her interest in her hobbies including tapestry and gardening began to deteriorate and at times she didn’t recognise her husband.

Eventually Carol moved into a care home in July 2018, which Ken visits virtually every day. Sadly the pair are unable to have a conversation anymore. Ken completed Memory Walk in support of his beloved Carol and to raise awareness of dementia and vital funds for dementia research.

Ken said: “I had a wonderful marriage – Carol and I just worked together so well. We used to travel a lot and do many hobbies together. When her behaviour began to change and we discovered she had dementia, my life suddenly stopped. It was heart-breaking and trying to cope with the impact of her dementia put a strain on my health too.

“Carol was moved into a care home in July 2018, where she has been for the past year. I visit every day or every other day. Sadly we are unable to have a conversation anymore. Sometimes she will virtually ignore me but sometimes she will go to sleep with her head on my shoulder.

“Carol has a lovely smile, which sometimes I still see, and if I hold her hand she will squeeze it back. I think she knows that I’m somebody special, but I’m not sure whether she knows our relationship.

Attendees also tied personal messages to the Memory Tree, which was in full bloom by the end of the walk.

Across Nottinghamshire, it’s estimated that around 10,000 people are living with dementia and in the hour-and-a-half it takes to complete your average Memory Walk, 30 people will develop dementia in the UK.

Nasim Minhas, Alzheimer’s Society area manager for Nottinghamshire, said: “Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer with someone developing it every three minutes – yet dementia research still trails far behind other health conditions, after decades of underfunding.

“I am absolutely delighted that almost 3,000 people united against dementia at the Clumber Park Memory Walk, to improve the lives of people living with the condition.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this Memory Walk such a brilliant success.”

To find out more about Memory Walk, including Your Walk, Your Way and Glow events, go to memorywalk.org.uk

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