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Sir Ian Botham discusses father's dementia

Sir Ian Botham discusses father's dementia
15th October 2014

Sir Ian Botham has spoken about the pain dementia brought on his family after his father was diagnosed with the condition.

The former England cricketer's father died in 2005 and Sir Ian admitted he found it difficult to see him towards the end because of the way he had changed. Speaking on the BBC's Inside Out programme, he said that his father Leslie had been a "fit, healthy, bright [and] clever" man before he developed Alzheimer's.

Talking about his struggles to accept the changes in his father, the former Durham, Somerset and Worcestershire cricketer admitted he eventually stopped visiting him in his care home because of the emotional strain it was placing on him and his family.  

"He had to be sedated to have a shower, he got violent, he lost all his bodily controls, he was totally dysfunctional and I did not want to see my dad like that," Sir Ian said.

Recent research by the Alzheimer's Society has found there is still a stigma around the condition, as more than 50 per cent of UK adults admitted they would find it difficult to bring up the topic of dementia with someone they thought was developing the condition.

People in the 25 to 34 age bracket (62 per cent) were most likely to find the situation tricky. On top of this, 40 per cent would struggle to tell their family if they had dementia. 

Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia and more than 520,000 people are expected to have the condition by next year. Typical signs that a person might have dementia include struggling to recall events that happened recently and not being able to find the right words.

The Alzheimer's Society is encouraging anyone who might have the condition to seek out information and advice.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.