Crawley Alzheimer’s patient speaks out to raise awareness

Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures ENGSUS00120120629112956
Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures ENGSUS00120120629112956

An Alzheimer’s patient has spoken about his disease during Dementia Awareness Week.

Eddie Dow, 67, from Furnace Green, explained the frustrations of living with his deteriorating condition in the run up to Dementia Awareness Week (May 18-24).

He said: “Living with dementia is very frustrating, that’s the worst thing about it,

“There’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t get angry about not being able to do things, like remembering how to turn the TV over or how to make a phone call. I have learnt to take a time out and come back to it later on.

“When someone is physically ill you can see it. When someone is mentally ill you can’t. If you break your leg, it will heal, but with something like dementia, I don’t know where it will leave me. But I’m not afraid to tell people I have Alzheimer’s. I just have to get on with it.Most people don’t understand what dementia is and so they don’t know how to react.

Eddie, a widower, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago and has employed a carer to work with him.

He added: “I call her my PA. I rely on her a lot. It’s worked out well and we have things set up as best we can.

“I don’t want to let dementia get in the way of my life. I want to keep on doing the things I used to do and the things I enjoy for as long as I can. It’s important to me to have my independence.”

Eddie attends the Forward Thinking Group, Oasis Club and Forget Me Not groups in Crawley which help him socialise. Dementia Friendly Crawley, an initiative to ensure local organisations know how to support people with Dementia, has reached the finals in the National Dementia Friendly Awards. The winner will be announced on May 20. NHS Crawley CCG will host an information stand in the foyer at Crawley Hospital on May 21, from noon to 2pm. There will be a Dementia Awareness Day at Crawley Library on June 4.