This week, people all over Scotland will be walking for someone they love. Alzheimer Scotland’s Memory Walk takes place 15-17 September. Shannon Falconer from Motherwell will be walking for her much-loved and much-missed gran, Elizabeth.
“I lived just with my dad from the age of nine. My dad, my gran and my aunt have all supported me in different ways and have had such a huge impact on my life. My gran, Elizabeth, died in 2013 when I was 16 and I still really miss her. She was such a character! She was born and raised in Glasgow, and she was a really strong woman, she had an opinion on everything. She was active with her local church, and she was always busy, always on the go. I was over to see her every other day."
Shannon’s gran started to show symptoms of dementia in 2005. She began to call her daughter, Agnes (Shannon’s aunt), in the early hours of the morning begging her to come over straight away. Eventually Agnes was able to move into her mother’s tower block so she could visit her day or night. Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s condition continued to deteriorate and she eventually she had to move into a residential care home, then a nursing home.
“My family found it really hard. There was so little information or help available for families and my gran started having a lot of problems. The residential home found her too difficult to deal with, so she had to go into a nursing home. Her mood was up and down all the time, and she was falling over a lot. Nowadays we hear about delirium and things a lot more, but back then we couldn’t understand what was going on.
“I work in social care now. It’s been 10 years since my gran died, but we still don’t talk enough about dementia, and we definitely don’t give families the support they need to care for the people they love. That’s why I’m doing Scotland’s Memory Walk – to remember my amazing gran and to help all the other families living with dementia.”
There's still time to sign up for Scotland’s Memory Walk. Sign up here.