Angela Bates is a 56-year-old Nurse Clinician in Primary Care with two grown-up children. She was born in Liverpool but moved to New Zealand in 2006 for nine years. Just after five weeks of being back in the UK, Angela’s Dad passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. This year, Angela decided to run the WR10K in Liverpool to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.
“I started running 12 months ago, mainly to get fit and lose weight,” Angela says. She now runs three times a week, but like all of us, sometimes struggles to fit it in! Signing up for the WR10K was a way for Angela to raise awareness of the disease her Dad suffered from.
Angela’s dad, Billy, was never formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease but passed away when the diagnosis process was still underway. “He worked as a docker and then for ICI as a process operator,” Angela explains. “He was a very proud man with high principles who encouraged all of his children and grandchildren to achieve the best they could. He was a straight talking man who was kind and generous but didn’t suffer fools. I learned a lot about social justice from my Dad,” she adds.
Angela’s brother intially cared for their dad while she was in New Zealand. “When I came home on holiday I realised how quickly he was deteriorating and that my brother did not have the time to give him the support needed,” Angela recalls. It was then that Angela made the decision to come home. Living far away was making it difficult to ensure he was receiving the right care and support. “The hardest part was the lack of empathy from health care professionals who saw him as a rude old man. It took me several months to get them to accept that he had dementia. It was also hard to see such a proud man losing his independence.”
In October 2014, Angela took part in the Memory Walk, only three months after Billy passed away. Now, she has completed the Liverpool WR10K to raise more money and would encourage others to sign up for fundraising events, saying, “The Alzheimer’s Society is doing a fantastic job supporting individuals affected by this terrible disease.”