11DermotColumnStatistics tumble into The Munster Express mailbox like the snow that fell across Waterford on Monday night. Some make little or any impact whatsoever given the litany of inane surveys conducted by public relations firms, but some still retain the power to stymie the cynicism that’s so often pervasive in this trade. But one such statement stopped me in my tracks on Monday morning.
Its subject line read: ‘There are 1100 people in Waterford living with Alzheimer’s or dementia’. I had to read it again. That many? I would never have considered the local figure to be so high, and of course the consequences of having a loved one with Alzheimer’s surely runs the aforementioned tally into multiples of four if not five.
I know of one family in which a father and uncle have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Both men were strong, healthy, house-proud and vibrant. Both were great conversationalists and loved visiting their neighbours and entertaining them. Both were active and enthusiastic contributors to their local community.