Alzheimer's

'Tender moments' during lockdown with my nana

Liz Lewis

Broadcast Journalist

Jean Preece and Tommy Ferris
Tommy Ferris

Tommy Ferris and his nana Jean Preece have been isolating together during the coronavirus lockdown.

Mrs Preece has Alzheimer's and is not aware of the pandemic.

"I won't lie, it's not all been happiness and sunshine," said Mr Ferris.

But after he decided to "stay positive" the enforced lockdown has produced some "tender moments" for the pair.

Usually Mrs Preece struggles to find motivation to go outside but one day she decided she wanted to visit her late husband Roger's grave in Little Sodbury, South Gloucestershire.

"She sat on the bench with his name on it and told me stories of their younger days and how they met," he said.

"There are times with Alzheimer's when you feel you're losing someone but my gosh she was there that day."

Other uplifting chats between the two have revealed the names of babies Mrs Preece delivered during her career as a midwife.

"If I get her talking about that time she recalls all the names and details and it's really lovely.

"It may sound odd but I'm grateful for these lockdown positives."

Nana Jean Preece
Tommy Ferris

£50,000 charity boost for Sheffield dementia research

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have been given £50,000 in funding to investigate a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s.

A person's hands
PA Media

The research team is going to examine different causes of dementia and how to treat the condition - and will focus on how a protein called occludin affects brain cells.

Alzheimer's Research UK, which is providing the funding, says Sheffield has a strong dementia research community and describes this as "an innovative project".

Professor Stephen Wharton, from the University of Sheffield, who will lead the research, said: "We use a research technique where we take skin cells donated by people with Alzheimer’s disease and reprogram them into nerve cells that no longer produce occludin.

"This will allow us to reveal how this protein affects cells present in the brain. Finding out how occludin affects the brain may open the door to new ways to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s."

Alzheimers group claim States not doing enough to help

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey ministers have been accused of ignoring advice and requests from an organisation which looks after islanders with dementia as they try to cope with the effects of the coronavirus lockdown.

The Jersey Alzheimers Association said it was disappointed and frustrated to have to voice its concerns, but claimed the States was not doing enough to help patients and their carers.

It said there needed to be a way to help people who may be feeling cut off because of the crisis - but an assessment unit at Overdale was closed in late March and has not yet reopened.

The charity said there was an absolute and urgent need for ministers to come up with a plan to support a vulnerable group of people without relying on charities to do it for them.

The States has been asked to comment.