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    Chris Gascoyne: Coronation Street star on his gran’s dementia – the symptoms

    Chris Gascoyne has played the role of Peter Barlow in Coronation Street since 2000. The actor has been praised for his portrayal over the years, including several nods at the British Soap Awards. The actor has often kept his private and public persona separate but the star took a different tack in a rare interview back in 2009.

    This prompted everyone in the house to come to her aid. He also remembers how his grandmother was extremely polite to everyone who came to the family home, in Nottinghamshire.

    He said: “She would be so welcoming. But once they were sat down I would see her looking at them trying to work out who they were.

    “I could tell even as a child she was a very intelligent woman and it must have been so hard, so confusing for her.”

    What is dementia and how does it affect a person’s everyday life?

    “Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning,” explains the NHS.

    “Initially, memory lapses may be mistaken for the normal forgetfulness that often increases as people grow older, or when they become stressed,” explains the Alzheimer’s Society (AS).

    However, according to the AS, in someone with dementia it will gradually become clear that the memory problems are becoming more severe and persistent.

    Other early symptoms include:

    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
    • Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
    • Being confused about time and place
    • Mood changes.

    For support and more information, try the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22.


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