MOST weeks of this New Year I pledge to print at least one of the huge number of messages I receive about the appalling so-called care meted out to Alzheimer's sufferers.
I won't stop until the messages do. For me that will be the only signal that something is finally being done for the hundreds of thousands affected by this appallingly cruel disease:
FIONA, j when my dad's dementia got too bad for him to stay in his own home we found him a home recommended by Social Services. One day when I went to see Dad he was in bed, very distressed with stomach pains. The manager told me she had called the doctor and that Dad had a urine infection. The pain got worse - Dad was in agony and calling out for help.
Two days later she told me she had called the doctor again. The next morning I phoned to see how Dad was and the manager said she was thinking of calling an ambulance. I got straight in my car to go and see Dad. When I got to his room he was in bed - no clothes on, flannel on his head with a temperature.
When I told the manager it looked like he was dying, she just shrugged her shoulders. I told her to call an ambulance.
When it came the paramedic asked the manager when was the last time that Dad had opened his bowels. She didn't really know and said "about a week ago". In hospital, the doctor eventually told me that Dad was bunged up with waste, which was leaking into his colon. He said he thought Dad hadn't been to the toilet for at least two weeks. An animal would not have been left like that. It took three days for them to sort the problem out and the pain was awful for Dad while they were doing it - I could hear him shouting and screaming. He was then transferred to the assessment ward of a mental health hospital which was very upsetting. He was there for several months before being transferred to a nursing home - where he died shortly afterwards.
Mary Edwards, via email
FIONA, at last, someone with some talent will be a judge on Britain's Got Talent. David Walliams is a true entertainer.
Chris Cowlin, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex