Introduction by Fiona Phillips

I have personal experience of having both parents who have suffered from Alzheimer's. My mother had 'early on-set' Alzheimer's when she was in her fifties, and my father who is 74 now, currently has Alzheimer's.

Two very different experiences: with my mother, Personal Budgets didn't exist and we really had to fight for everything we got - which wasn't much, she attended a Day Centre sometimes but it didn't suit her. With my father it has completely changed, we have moved him closer to us, as we were travelling 7 hours to see him. We have a brilliant package for him - which relieves me, because I have small children, a family, I have work and a husband and it's a real reassurance. We have a package where the care worker takes him out for walks, which I specially asked for. I have someone who does his shopping, to keep him healthy, and he doesn't put on weight. It's just all the things that keep him living a normal life as possible and maintaining his dignity as well.

Just because you are getting older, or are very ill, or are suffering from chronic diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's it doesn't mean you shouldn't maintain your dignity. Fiona Phillips Broadcaster