Long-standing Channel 7 reporter and presenter, Mark Gibson has committed to raising awareness about dementia through his newest role as Dementia Australia Ambassador.
Mr Gibson has been inspired by his family’s experience of caring for his grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease.
“My grandmother Eileen was diagnosed in 2011 and sadly died just before Christmas in 2016,” Mr Gibson said.
“As a family we found the resources and services available through Dementia Australia invaluable.
“Help Sheets and other resources, as well as the people on the other end of the National Dementia Helpline helped us understand more about what was happening and got us all, as a family, talking more about what to expect which in hindsight, I think, helped us to better support her.
“They definitely made us feel like we were not alone in what we were going through as a family.
“One of the biggest things I learnt was that no two people living with dementia are the same. There are so many different forms of dementia and it manifests itself in so many different ways depending on where the brain is impacted, the age of the person, the different changes that happen and how the disease progression is different for everyone.
“When I look back I am pleased that we were able to support her to stay at home and be independent and surrounded by familiar people and surroundings as long as was safe for her, which is what she wanted.
“I was privileged to spend a lot of time with her and my grandfather Richard. As her primary carer he did the most incredible job.
“I’m very proud to be taking on this role as Ambassador in honour and memory of both my grandmother and grandfather.
“I hope that by speaking up about our experience I will encourage others to seek support and know that they too are not alone if they have concerns about themselves or a loved one.”
Maree McCabe, CEO Dementia Australia said we are so pleased to welcome Mark as a member of our Ambassador Program.
“Our Ambassadors are truly an inspiration. They are motivated by the impact dementia has had on their own lives, to generously help others.
“I wish to acknowledge Mark for his commitment to making a difference to the lives of people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, and their families and carers.
“For information, support and help in accessing the resources and services Mark mentioned I encourage people to contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.dementia.org.au,” Ms McCabe said.
For more about Dementia Australia’s Ambassador Program visit www.dementia.org.au/ambassadors.