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It was revealed last month that 80-year-old Dame Barbara Windsor had been secretly battling Alzheimer’s disease for four years.  An English actress, Barbra is best known for her appearances in the Carry On films and for playing Peggy Mitchell in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders.  She has a huge, well-deserved fan base of admirers.

I mention this because, coincidently, Solar Solve today sent a donation to a local group of volunteers who do sterling practical work helping local people, who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other types of Dementia, to enjoy their lives better than they would otherwise.  We appreciate their efforts and try to help as often as we can with small donations that make a difference to their clients’ quality of life.  We are proud to be associated with them, even in such a small way.

There are more than 850,000 dementia sufferers in the UK, with Alzheimer’s disease the most common form. Symptoms of the disease often include difficulties with thinking and memory loss.  Like most people I have personal experience of dealing with some friends and family members who end up with the disease and it is amazing how the most outgoing, gregarious individuals of the past gradually give way to becoming apathetic or uninterested in their usual activities.  They lose the ability to remember events or fully understand their environment or situations, it can seem as if they’re not telling the truth, or are wilfully ignoring problems and it affects their mental abilities. Maintaining their independence usually becomes an associated problem.

Knowing what to do and how to deal with sufferers is usually very stressful for people who are close to them and that is why every community needs people like the volunteers of Supporters of South Tyneside Libraries ‘Living Well with Dementia’ group.  They buy specialist games and jigsaw puzzles for their friends at a local day centre and help them to benefit from the associated entertainment in solving them. Needless to say Solar Solve is always happy to help with this superb initiative.