Dementia will "will never bring us down" say Solihull couple - The Solihull Observer

Dementia will "will never bring us down" say Solihull couple

Solihull Editorial 30th Mar, 2023   0

A SOLIHULL couple have opened their hearts about the devastation a dementia diagnosis can bring in a moving campaign.

Emma Ruscoe and her husband Simon joined actor Colin Firth, Mary McCartney – Sir Paul McCartney’s daughter – and broadcaster Richard Madeley to shine a light on how the disease can change the dynamics of a family.

Simon was diagnosed with young onset dementia in 2020 in his mid-fifties and has had the support from his wife and sons as he now no longer works or drives and needs help with tasks like making a cup of tea.

Their story is part of a fundraising campaign for the Alzheimer’s Society and features an emotional TV and radio ad, narrated by actor Colin Firth, which shows how dementia can change the dynamics of a relationship.

Emma said: “Simon’s diagnosis has changed our lives beyond recognition. The disease has touched every element of our lives as a couple and the lives of our sons, Alex and Oliver.

“Whilst the impact of the disease is devastating, it has made us aware that our love goes deeper and is stronger than it has ever been.

“It truly is ‘in sickness and in health’ and ‘till death do us part’. We treasure every day, good, and bad, we laugh and always focus on making memories.

“Simon is still the wonderful man I married 29 years ago, sadly parts of him are slowly disappearing, but it won’t change the love I have for him no matter how hard it gets.”

The 55-year-old also praised her sons who support their dad daily and have vowed to look after Simon like he did for them when they were younger.

Emma added: “Having a diagnosis of dementia is not the end of the world, it’s the end of the world you knew, but with love, determination, patience and support it is possible to live well with the disease – our motto is “we will never beat this disease, but it will never bring us down.”

Meanwhile, Mary McCartney, Sir Paul McCartney’s daughter, has taken photographs of couples affected by dementia that will appear on billboards from the middle March.

Broadcaster and writer Richard Madeley, an Alzheimer’s Society supporter, is also backing the campaign in honour of his mum who was diagnosed with the disease.

He said: “Alzheimer’s Society’s new campaign brings home how caring for a partner with dementia truly fulfils the ultimate marriage vow of ‘in sickness and health’.

“The campaign doesn’t shrink from shining a light on the harsh realities of living with dementia, while showing how love has its own extraordinary power to shine through the darkest times and uplift battered spirits.

“There’s a huge sense of hope that’s unmistakably transmitted by the couples involved in this extraordinarily moving campaign – and that’s directly thanks to Alzheimer’s Society. Because of their support, people don’t have to face dementia alone.”

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