Widow Backs New Dementia Leaflets; Alzheimer's Volunteer Says National Campaign Will Warn Others of Early Signs

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Byline: Dave Black ? 07884 117069 ? dave.black@ncjmedia.co.uk

AN AWARD--WINNING volunteer from the North East is backing a new national campaign to encourage people to seek expert help for early warning signs of dementia.

Barbara Dow was recently presented with a top accolade by the Alzheimer's Society in recognition of her five years of inspirational voluntary work following the death of her husband Al, who suffered from Alzheimer's.

Mrs Dow - who lives in Amble, Northumberland - travelled to the House of Lords to be presented with the William Brooks Award by Sir Michael Parkinson, a leading supporter of the society.

The awards are handed out each year to society volunteers who have given exceptional service.

Now Mrs Dow has given her strong support to the new Department of Health campaign, which encourages people with worries about their memory to seek medical attention.

Targeted leaflet drops are being carried out in Northumberland this week in support of national TV, radio and Press campaigns to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of dementia.

Mrs Dow started volunteering with the Alzheimer's Society because she had been unhappy with the care that her husband received in hospital and in a care home during the last months of his life.

After making a formal complaint about his care she was asked to write about their experiences following his diagnosis. The resulting booklet - called Al's Story - forms the basis of talks which she gives to health professionals.

She has spoken at conferences, to doctors and consultants and to nurses in their final year of training. …