Generations to stroll together for dementia

READY TO GO From left, Andy Heaword, Sarah Waters holding Audrey Waters and Sheila Heaword are doing the Portsmouth Memory Walk in aid of the Alzheimer's Society. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132428-297)
READY TO GO From left, Andy Heaword, Sarah Waters holding Audrey Waters and Sheila Heaword are doing the Portsmouth Memory Walk in aid of the Alzheimer's Society. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132428-297)

Alzheimer’s Society visits Fareham to answer questions on dementia

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THREE generations of the same family are taking part in a fundraising walk this weekend.

Sheila Heaword, 62, who suffers from dementia, is taking part in the Portsmouth Memory Walk, in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Her husband Andy, 66, of Lakeside Avenue, is also taking part, along with their daughter Sarah Waters, 30, and granddaughter, Audrey Waters, six months old.

Andy, who is his wife’s carer, said: ‘My wife was a classroom assistant in Langstone Infant School.

‘She has a history of depression but has always recovered.

‘In 2006, her depression was so severe that she spent some time receiving treatment in the Priory clinic, but she did not seem to improve or recover. It wasn’t until we went on holiday, that I noticed how disorientated and forgetful she seemed to be.

‘Sheila was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and unfortunately later as the dementia progressed, she had no option but to take early retirement.’

Andy said that he has noticed a gradual change in Sheila, and that the Alzheimer’s Society has been a great help.

‘My wife is at a stage now where she can’t go out on her own and can’t do simple tasks such as making a cup of tea or taking a shower,’ added Andy.

‘The loss of independence has been very difficult for her. Sheila has remained physically fit and enjoys walking which is one of the reasons why we take part in the memory walk each year.

‘The Alzheimer’s Society provides a huge amount of support for people like Sheila and our family such as activities, carer and patient support and funding medical research to try and stop this horrible disease in its tracks.’

The walk takes place on Saturday, and starts from Castle Field, Southsea, at 11am.

People can choose between two routes. Visit memorywalk.org.uk/portsmouth