Richard Lindsay, 76, discovered he had the disease in 2021, but his son Paul, 49, recalls noticing changes in his father’s memory, concentration levels, and behaviour more than two decades ago.
Paul vividly remembers how his father, previously known for his frugality, began attempting to give away money and sought “deep conversations” with family members. These early signs were brushed off as mere quirks, but they would later prove to be the first glimpses of a devastating disease.
However, it was six years ago when Richard’s wife, Joyce, 75, noticed a significant change in his behaviour. He started misplacing items, a behaviour that caught their attention.
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Paul, a dedicated social worker from Nottingham, explained: “My mum, being his nearest and dearest, spotted it first. He would start throwing money at you, which was completely out of character for a man who had always been careful with his finances.
“He would also crave deep conversations with family members, as if he had an inkling that something was amiss.”
After a series of meetings and doctor’s appointments, Richard was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago. While the news was devastating, Paul said “it was a sense of relief”. He added: “We knew all we could do together as a family was to pull together and help him.”
Tragically, Paul has said his father’s condition has deteriorated to the point where he is “totally gone.”
He explained: “It has manifested and progressed. It had got to the point where my dad is not there anymore. It is so tragic. It is like a silhouette of my dad walking into the distance.”
In a glimmer of hope, it was recently announced a new Alzheimer’s drug may mark the “beginning of the end” for this neurodegenerative disease. US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly revealed the full clinical trial results for the drug donanemab, which has shown the ability to slow clinical decline by up to 35 percent.
Paul said that despite it being too late for his father to benefit from this breakthrough, he is determined to campaign and raise awareness to ensure that other families do not have to endure the same heartbreak.
He said: “If my dad would have been able to have this drug, to slow that journey down, it would have meant a lot for everyone. This is really exciting. My dad is a gentleman, he is a happy man, and he always has been.
“It is sad as he doesn’t really hold a conversation anymore. He is a man who ran the London Marathon aged 58, his body is physically fit but this disease had got hold of his brain.”
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