Welcome to the Pearl Support Network,
We are brothers Junior and Karl Wilson.
In 2016 we established the Pearl Dementia Support Network following the death of our dearly loved mother, Pearl Wilson, who suffered from Alzheimer’s a dementia-related disease for more than 10 years. It was an extremely difficult time emotionally and physically for us both and our families.
Prior to finding out about our mother’s condition we had no knowledge at all of dementia or Alzheimer’s. As a result, we did not recognise the early signs and warnings, and so by the time she was diagnosed she was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. We did not know what to expect and when trying to speak to people we found it was very much “brushed under the carpet” and there was also a “matter-of-fact” attitude within the African and Caribbean community.
We have since learnt a lot…in fact tons about Alzheimer’s and dementia from the different stages to the effects and strain it has on families and also we know that Alzheimer’s has a different caring process depending on one’s ethnicity. Although the effects of Alzheimer’s on anyone from anywhere largely remains the same, the actual care and support required is different for both the affected loved one and the family.
Alzheimer’s and dementia in some cultures, like the African and Caribbean community, is pretty much a taboo subject and is not regarded as a disease but more of a mental issue and this needs to be addressed through education, awareness and more involvement from the wider family and friends.
Alzheimer’s also leaves a trail of destruction through family relationships, financial affairs and also the health and well-being of carers, leaving people in despair and nowhere to turn. We know as we have been through it first-hand!
The Pearl Dementia Support Network is here to address these problems and help carers and families through these difficult times. This platform will also educate and build awareness of Alzheimer’s within the African and Caribbean community, support other organisations and build an online and offline support network in the fight against Alzheimer’s.