BEAUTY entrepreneur Pamela Laird has opened up about her dad Sylvester’s dementia as she urges people to support the first Alzheimer’s Memory Walk.
Pamela, who last year appeared on BBC reality show The Apprentice, is backing the event as ambassador for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.
The walk takes place nationwide on September 20 to mark World Alzheimer’s Month, and is supported by Iceland.
Pamela’s dad was diagnosed with dementia in 2016, though she said the family started noticing changes with her father as far back as 2010.
The Dublin businesswoman said: “Through dad’s diagnosis I am all too aware of what so many families go through in Ireland – the confusion, the sadness and the isolation.
“The Alzheimer Society of Ireland does excellent work and my family have used their supports to help my dad with his journey with dementia.
“They need to keep fundraising to keep their services running… It’s at a time like this where we need to remember those suffering alone and get them the support that they desperately need.
“During Alzheimer’s Month 2020, I really want to put a spotlight on dementia as it desperately needs our attention.”
Pamela said her family has struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic as some services and supports previously available to them have been suspended.
A member of her own family has now completed ASI’s family carer training course. Pamela will do the walk next month with her mam Yvonne and her pet Chihuahua Tallulah.
Jacinta Dixon from Clondalkin, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago, will also be taking part.
She revealed: “I have kept as active as possible under the circumstances, continued to live well and be part of my community.
“But the past few months have been very challenging with cocooning and social distancing. At times it’s been frightening.
“Now I feel I am starting to get back out there – going shopping and taking my regular walks.”
The Memory Walk is a family friendly series of walks – from 5km up – with ASI hoping 6,000 walkers will help raise e100,000 for its services.
See www.memorywalk.ie for details.