“I knew mum was gone forever when she hit me”: Beverley Callard on the moment she lost her mother to Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting around 496,000 people in the UK. ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms which can include loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communication and reasoning.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease, first described by the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer, is a physical disease affecting the brain. During the course of the disease, protein ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ develop in the structure of the brain, leading to the death of brain cells.
People with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain. These chemicals are involved with the transmission of messages within the brain. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, the symptoms become more severe. This was experienced first-hand by Beverly Callard from Coronation Streets.
But Beverley Callard admits by the time her beloved mum Mavis had passed away, she had already been through the grieving process.
After first being diagnosed with the disease six years ago, the former Coronation Street actress gradually saw her mother’s mental state deteriorate.
But it wasn’t until she lashed out at her that Beverley realised the disease had taken hold to such an extent that her mother would never return to her former self. Despite being devastated at her loss, the 55-year-old actress admitted she felt a sense of ‘relief’ when Mavis finally passed away this January.
‘I felt that I was grieving for the woman who had just died but I was also finally grieving for the woman and mother that she had been,’ she said.
‘And for all the parts of her character which had been taken away day by day over the past six years.
‘There was some sense of relief that Mum was out of her pain and torment but there was still a terrible sense of loss.’
To take care of Mavis during her final stages of the disease, Beverley bowed out of her role as Rovers Return landlady Liz McDonald last spring after more than 20 years on Corrie.
Click on the following link for more information on Alzheimers Disease – http://alzheimers.org.uk/
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