Jim Broadbent presents an appeal on behalf of Dementia UK. The charity provides specialist dementia support for families through their Admiral Nurse service.
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My favourite memory of my mum goes back to her competitive spirit.
She used to love her swimming. She won medals when she was a teenager.
I met Gordon when I was 16.
We used to dance the night away. We just had a good time.
My first memory of my dad is going to the football, Huddersfield Town.
He took me when I was three years old and we've been going ever since.
Our memories are precious. They're the essence of who we are.
We learn from them and they can be a way to bring
happiness into the present by recalling the past.
But what if they were taken away from us or from the ones we love?
This is me with my mother Dee.
Dee lived with dementia for about four years.
It was a very tough time for the whole family,
witnessing her deteriorating week by week, month by month.
She died in 1995, aged 81.
In the UK, there are 850,000 people living with dementia,
a condition that currently has no cure, but fortunately there is
a charity called Dementia UK, working tirelessly to support them
and their families through this very difficult journey.
Mum's always been a strong character.
I'm very close to Mum
and after Dad died, I think
I took over that role in her life.
I started to notice the changes when Mum was about 83.
She was struggling with figures and struggling with bills.
It was quite disturbing
because her working life revolved around money, figures and numbers.
I had to take the electric kettle away.
That's because she'd just fill it with water, light the gas hob
and then stick the electric kettle on the gas hob.
She started putting the iron down on the carpet -
dangerous things that were a real threat to her health and safety.
Richard's mum was diagnosed with dementia in 2008.
Mum's GP said, "Richard,
"you do realise this is going to kill your mum, don't you?"
I looked at him and just...
I don't think I said anything.
I just gave him a hard look and...
It brought it home to me.
There comes a point, when dealing with the illness,
that you just get overwhelmed
and if you don't get that support and help,
you're just going to fall apart
trying to deal with the dementia.
It was then that the mental health nurse said to me, "You know,
"actually, Richard, it's not your mum I'm worried about, it's you."
There are many families across the UK just like Richard's
who are facing dementia alone.
It's a frightening prospect and places huge strain on people,
both physically and mentally.
That's all right, now take your time.
That's why Dementia UK provides specialist nurses
known as Admiral Nurses.
They offer practical and emotional support
both in local communities
and through the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline,
giving families the skills
and confidence they need to continue when things are really tough.
Hello, my mum! How are you?
The Admiral Nurse said to me, "Your mum needs professional care
"and support and you need to have the comfort of knowing that she's
"in a safe environment,
"that she's not at risk."
I'm the only person in the world that Mum recognises now.
She looks forward to me coming in. It's what gives meaning to her life.
Over the last three years,
28,000 families who've been affected by dementia have directly benefited
from the charity's helpline and demand is growing year-on-year.
Katie is an Admiral Nurse
and her role involves supporting families face-to-face.
Main role of an Admiral Nurse is to support the family carer.
We're mental health nurses.
We have extra experience and expertise in
working with families and supporting somebody living with dementia.
I love my job, it's such an honour when families invite me
into their home and they begin to get to know me and build up
that therapeutic relationship, which is paramount to the work that
we're doing because we often see people in the most vulnerable times.
For the last few years,
Katie has supported families across West Yorkshire.
One such couple is Gordon and his wife Agnes.
In 2012, Gordon's behaviour started to change
and after 18 months of concern from his family,
he was diagnosed with dementia.
He was a very quiet person.
He's always been an Elvis Presley fan, had a quiff like Elvis.
Been married 56 year
and we're still together
and the love is still there
and that's why it's been so hard to let go.
By taking my dad to the football,
it does give me mum that extra break that she needs.
She then doesn't have to worry about me dad.
I don't think he can remember it after the game, but in that moment,
when he's at the game, he looks as though he's enjoying it
and that pleases me because he has still got a bit of a life.
He's not the man I married, definitely not.
He's completely changed.
His behaviour at times was so unpredictable.
Aggressiveness towards me mum.
The effect it's had on me mum is...
she's had to stop her life to look after me dad.
I've got to be with him everywhere. Got to bath him,
I've got to see him go to the toilet. He doesn't know what's what.
When he went missing was the worst night of my life.
A night I don't ever really want to go through again.
We all thought he weren't coming back.
And when it broke daylight, I just said...
I won't have us a husband any more.
He were found 14 hours later.
Emotionally it affects me a lot and there's times
when I've sat in here crying.
There's been a lot of tears, really.
Since Gordon was diagnosed,
Dementia UK has been a lifeline for the family.
Through regular visits,
Katie has offered practical support to keep Gordon safe and
emotional support to help Agnes and the family cope with the situation.
Katie's my angel, the Admiral Nurse.
I can let all out to her,
what's happened from one visit to the next visit.
And that was difficult for you to manage?
And she'll advise me, calming me down.
You know what they say, you marry them for better or for worse.
We've been down there but Katie's lifted me up now.
Stories like Richard's and his mother's, and that of Gordon
and Agnes, highlight the tremendous strain dementia can put on a family
and how well a charity like Dementia UK can help.
I know from experience with my own mum how hard it can be to cope
when a loved one gets dementia.
Because of that, I believe passionately that
everyone who needs the support of an Admiral Nurse,
like the ones provided by the charity, should have access to one.
To increase the number of Admiral Nurses within communities
and on the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, we need your help.
To give by phone, call...
Calls are free from mobiles and landlines. Text...
Texts cost £10 plus your standard network message charge
and the whole £10 goes to Dementia UK.
For full terms and conditions or to make a donation online, visit
the Lifeline website at...
Or if you'd like to post a donation,
please make your cheque payable to Dementia UK and send it to
Freepost, BBC Lifeline Appeal,
writing Dementia UK on the back of the envelope.
Jim Broadbent presents an appeal on behalf of Dementia UK. The charity provides specialist dementia support for families through their Admiral Nurse service, giving one-to-one support and expert guidance, and helping them cope when things get hard.