For Carole Beavis in north Wales, apart from being a fitting way to honour her father, Memory Walk is also about a better tomorrow.
Read this story in Welsh
My dad, Alan, is 86 and has Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. He was diagnosed in 2011 and lives in a care home now.
We used to go for walks together, it was a key part of our relationship. It was a place where we connected.
Dad used to be in the merchant navy, and the last place I walked with him was Barmouth Sailors’ Institute, which is 10 miles from home in Llandanwg. It made complete sense to walk there for Memory Walk.
In my corner
Alzheimer’s Society has been a lifeline for me, it’s constantly been in my corner. The helpline gave emotional and practical support, and I connected with other people through Talking Point.
Even when things were very hard and horrible, fundraising made me look forwards. For me, you’re very much rooted in the day to day – crisis points – but I’m contributing to better things in the future.
It’s been an awful year, with dementia and deaths in the family. There’s been very little to hang on to. It’s been important for me to know I’m doing something useful and practical.
Different for others
The walk was lovely. I was wearing a Memory Walk T-shirt and the name of who I was walking for. People smiled and nodded and acknowledged me.
I was thinking about loads of stuff to do with Dad. At the end, it was really emotional to think that he won’t ever come here again. But it was also almost accepting that this is where we are – we have to make it as good as possible for our children and grandchildren.
And a lovely thing happened. Some friends pulled up in the car and handed me some pink gin and tonic, and chocolate!
At the end, my husband met me and we sat looking at the sea. I raised over £1,500 – I was astounded by the support.
I did it because I want things to be different for other people. My dad was so frightened about having dementia. He wouldn’t tell anyone or engage with services.
His life could have been so much better if he didn’t feel so ashamed. I hope that other people will feel less bad about getting help.
Who will you take part for?
Join one of 20 events taking place across the UK or sign up to do your own Memory Walk.