Kerry's Story

 
Kerry Prendergast

Kerry’s story about dementia talks about first her father, and then later her mother, who were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – so she has lived with it in her family for a number of years. Having a nursing background from earlier years helped, but once she was facing it within her immediate family, Kerry quickly realised the need to find out more.

The first signs of her dad’s dementia became evident during an extended overseas holiday, when she noticed quite significant changes in his behaviour. Initially she put this down to his age (he was around 74 at the time), but quite quickly Kerry realised that it was more than just normal memory loss associated with aging. She explains clearly that dementia is much more than slight forgetfulness, and that there are lots of other symptoms apart from memory loss.

Kerry’s mother was more recently diagnosed with dementia and has since moved into full-time care. She explains that although her mum seems relatively normal on the surface and to other people, she can no longer live alone and do everyday, simple things.

Through Kerry’s association with Alzheimers New Zealand, she hopes to help raise awareness, and also help people with dementia to remain engaged in their communities and to live well.

If you suspect your aging parents are showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you will find Kerry’s story helpful in recognising the symptoms and also where you need to go to get support.

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