Woman talks about life with Alzheimer’s ahead of Memory Walk at Waddesdon

Waddesdon Manor
Waddesdon Manor

A woman from Aylesbury who has Alzheimer’s is putting out a final call for people to take part in Saturday’s Memory Walk at Waddedson Manor.

Maria Helena Niman was told she had the condition in 2011 after visiting her doctor for a different issue.

She said: “My doctor actually noticed I was displaying classic signs of dementia and referred me to a memory clinic, they did some tests and confirmed I had Alzheimer’s disease.

“I was then prescribed drugs to help with the condition, it was all quite quick.’

David, Maria’s husband of 32 years said the diagnosis was a big surprise.

He adds: “There were small signs such as Maria would repeat questions or forget what she had done the day before, but it was very gradual and so I didn’t really think there was anything wrong.’

Maria Helena not only lives with Alzheimer’s but also knows all about the condition through her years of work in care around Aylesbury.

The retired worker believes many people do not understand the disease.

“I think there is a lot of ignorance and misunderstanding. People need to be made aware about the condition and that it does not have to mean life is over.

“In fact, I believe you should always try to be active and stay positive. I found that by joining the Alzheimer’s Society and taking part in their activities, this has helped me to deal with the problem more easily.

“The Befriending system has been particularly helpful; this is where a volunteer visits me once a week, which is so nice.”

Maria and her husband certainly live by these rules, regularly going out to dinner and enjoying trips abroad.

Maria is hoping by encouraging people to attend the memory walk it will increase people’s understanding of the condition and raise vital funds for the charity.

The couple are both doing the walk this weekend at Waddesdon Manor and around 200 people are expected at the first ever walk at this historic house.

The event, run in partnership with Bupa Care Services, is Alzheimer’s Society flagship fundraiser and takes place around the UK throughout September.

It is hoped this year’s campaign will make around £2 million.

This year you can also raise even more money by taking part in the Bupa Memory Mile, comprising the final stretch of your walk.

For every walker who takes part Bupa Care Services will donate £2.50 to Alzheimer’s Society.

To register for the Memory Walk visit www.memorywalk.org.uk/waddesdon