THE Alzheimer’s Society’s annual memory walk is days away – and one family will put their best feet forward to raise awareness of the disease.
Louise Twitcher, of Galaxy Road in Cowplain, will be joined by sisters Sarah Hall and Nicola Shafe, and brother Patrick Shafe, as well as other family members, for the walk.
They are taking part in the event, which has been organised in association with Bupa Care Homes, along Southsea seafront on Saturday as the cause is close to their hearts.
Their 70-year-old mother Janet Shafe is in the latter stages of vascular dementia and was diagnosed with the condition 20 years ago.
She is cared for at the South Africa Lodge Care Home in Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville.
‘The effect on the family has been enormous and we have seen her condition deteriorate over time,’ Louise said.
‘Although it has been hard coming to terms with mum’s dementia, it has brought the family closer together and we work more as a team now.
‘She is now in the later stages and has been in a care home for about a year.
‘We have a rota in place so that one of us can visit her each day.
‘We are also on the committee of the care home, and receive support from the Alzheimer’s Society, including advice and counselling.
‘It’s great to be involved in something like the memory walk.
‘Mum has always been active and loves the outdoors.
‘I remember we used to walk together for miles.
‘I would encourage anyone to sign up in order to raise money for local services and help raise awareness.’
Saturday’s walk starts at Castle Field and participants can either take part in a 3km stroll or the full 10k walk.
Walkers will take in the sights of Southsea Castle, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, South Parade Pier, and Gunwharf Quays along the way.
Carol Elliott, the charity’s support services manager for Portsmouth, said: ‘This year’s walk is set to be the best yet.
‘We have almost 200 walkers registered already and some fantastic entertainment organised for on the day.
‘Together, Alzheimer’s Society and Bupa Care Homes aim to support more people living with dementia through the vital funds that are raised but in order to achieve this we need your help.’
Sign up to take part at memorywalk.org.uk