Written by Reuben Virk.
A REDDITCH woman will take on an eight-hour walking, cycling and kayaking challenge in memory of her grandmother and to raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society.
Naomi Fiddes-Baron, who works at Stratford-based software company Enable, will use her personal experience with her grandmother Ellen’s dementia to motivate during the fund-raiser in Snowdonia on August 4.
Naomi and her colleagues who make up the team should cover 35.5km in total.
Currently they have raised £3,000 for the cause, but are hoping to reach £4,355 for the charity.
Ellen, who was a huge part of Naomi’s life, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 72, living with the disease for seven years.
The experience had a huge impact on Naomi who was nine years old when she first noticed her grandmother forgetting things.
She began to need constant support and attention as the condition got worse.
Naomi’s parents had to take constant care of Ellen but it was too physically demanding for the pair, so they took her to a care home.
Ellen was forced to spend the rest of her life in hospital after breaking her arm in the care home.
Naomi’s dad had to feed her twice a day.
Ellen passed away in hospital at age 79.
Naomi said: “My nanny was an incredibly particular and ordered person.
“The most devastating thing was to see the way her life slowly and unrelentingly unravelled around her though, she remained a dignified and classy lady to the end.”
Naomi said she would like the standards of care for care home patients to be greater and the staff to be more attentive to the condition.
She added: “It would be good to see more specific services of people living with dementia in care homes.
She urged people to try and see the quality of life and humour in relation to it, as she believes focusing on the negative qualities of dementia can tear a family apart.
Currently, around 850,000 people suffer from dementia in the UK, with around 2,103 people over-65 in Redditch and Bromsgrove.
The funding from the challenge will help the charity carry out research for a cure, one of the things inspiring Naomi to complete the task.
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/enablesnowdon to donate to Naomi and her team.