Rugby mum speaks out about dementia care

Asha and her family took part in a Memory Walk to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society
Asha and her family took part in a Memory Walk to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society

A Rugby mum is urging families caring for people with dementia to seek help after she cared for her grandmother for years.

Asha Patel, a driving instructor from Rugby, helped look after her grandmother, Gurnam Sispal, at her parents’ home.

Gurnam lived with dementia for many years and the family saw how it affected her mentally and physically.

She died in January this year aged 99.

Asha said: “Grandma used to be very independent and very mobile but dementia took hold and she lost her mobility, sight and she couldn’t communicate.

“My parents and siblings did everything for her, from dressing to feeding.”

The family were supported by two carers.

Asha said: “I want other dementia carers who are alone to have emotional support and guidance as to what products and resources could help improve the quality of life for their loved ones.

“We learnt a lot from the carers so I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for people who don’t have that support.”

Asha’s family took part in a ‘Memory Walk’ last week. The event raised awareness of the disease and sponsorship went to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Asha said: “My three-year-old son Rohin joined in with the 10km walk and he loved it.

“We managed to raise around £1,000 which was great.”

Asha said the family were still coming to terms with the loss of her grandmother.

She said: “All we could do for the last month of her life was hold her hand, stroke her head and just be with her.

“We felt helpless and heartbroken that we couldn’t help her more.”

Asha said she wanted to help make families aware of the support available.

She added: “I would encourage people to go online and see what’s out there.

“There’s all sorts of things that can help make life that little bit easier.”

Visit www.dementiauk.org for more information.