Naughty Boy on how lockdown has impacted his mum who is living with dementia
Naughty Boy has explained how lockdown has had an impact on his mum Zahida's dementia, during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.
New statistics from Alzheimer's Society show how long people with dementia have been stuck indoors for days at a time during lockdown. Nearly a fifth of women (16%) have gone more than 7 days without going outside, excluding their garden, compared to 10% of men.
Speaking to Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway about his mum, who was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2019 and has been living with him since lockdown, the award-winning music producer said: "During the lockdown, it was the first time where mum was walking around in the house with a picture of me and saying to me, ‘That’s my son in the picture’... every time mum remembers anything, I get excited because that means mum is still there. The minute mum starts forgetting everything, that’s what I’m really scared of."
He explained that the family didn’t tell her about the pandemic to begin with as they didn’t want to overburden her. But when they did eventually tell her, when she was going to the doctor’s surgery for an appointment, her dementia did seem to take a turn for the worse.
"I guess that’s to be expected. Look how it was for people who don’t suffer from dementia," he added.
Reiterating the importance of keeping people living with dementia stimulated, Naughty Boy continued: "Anyone suffering dementia, I think it’s important that alongside the routine they have that they do get to see different things and different places."
"I think it’s important that not just mum but anyone suffering from dementia that they get some kind of human family contact because it makes such an incredible difference. At the same time, I understand that it’s not easy for everyone and even having a live-in carer, the emotion of everything is the same. You’re gradually watching someone in a way fade away," he added.
Naughty Boy went on to say that it is important to raise awareness of the disease.
"I’m making the most of the time I’ve got with my mum. the more we create awareness and me speaking about it actually helps me. I spent so long not speaking about it," he said.
Reacting to the statistics from the Alzheimer's Society, Dr Amir Khan said: "The results are really stark. Most people with dementia are over the age of 70 with other co-existing conditions which puts them at higher risk. Dementia itself is a cause of death and just in itself is a risk factor for the coronavirus without any other pre-existing conditions. So it is really really serious."
He added: "The coronavirus has been especially cruel to people with dementia in lockdown. We know that stimulating the brains of people with dementia, taking them outdoors, activities actually slows down the rate of progression of dementia particularly in the early stages and without that, not only has their mental health suffered but also their dementia could be progressing at a rate much quicker because of lockdown."