Buxton wife’s legacy lives on for Alzheimer’s Day

Keith Horncastle with the new 2018 memory calendar to ensure his wife Val's legacy lives on
Keith Horncastle with the new 2018 memory calendar to ensure his wife Val's legacy lives on

A determined Buxton man who lost his wife to Alzheimer’s is making it his mission to ensure her legacy lives on.

Val Horncastle fought a brave battle against the disease until her death in November 2015 - just months before a special calendar she had created for Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers went on sale.

Since her death, her husband Keith has successfully campaigned to make Buxton a dementia-friendly town and kept her name firmly in the public eye through her calendar. He said: “She has left behind a wonderful legacy and I really hope that people who are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s find the calendars helpful and helps them control their own lives.”

The calendar, which was designed in 2014, only shows one day at a time and allows people to write why the day is important or what appointments are happening on it.

Keith said: “Normal calendars can be too much and still confuse a person if they don’t know what day it is but this simplifies things.

“It was all Val’s idea I just spoke to the right people to make it a reality.”

Next year’s calendar is now on sale to coincide with today’s World Alzheimer’s Day, while next week events will take place in Buxton for National Inclusion Week (see right).

He said: “She never got to use (the 2016) calendar as she died in November but I know how much it helped her so I just want to help other people.

“It’s not just aimed at those with dementia but those with bipolar, who have had a stroke or brain injury.”

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.

These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases.

Keith said: “You shouldn’t fear people with dementia, they are still your fiends, your neighbours and the best thing you can do is pop round for a chat and just talk to them.”

•Events for National Inclusion Week take place from Monday until October 1.

There will be three on-hour information sessions on becoming a dementia friend at Morrisons supermarket in Buxton on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. To book, email champion.buxton@morrisonsplc.co.uk; Superdrug in The Springs Shopping Centre will be providing an information point about Alzheimer’s. People with dementia and their carers are invited to the Still Waters Cafe on the first and third Friday of the month at Trinity Church between 10.30am - 12.30pm.

The calendars are for sale in the Tourist Information Centre in the Pavilion Gardens for £10.