A COUPLE from Melling whose marriage buckled under the strain of caring for loved ones with dementia came together to raise funds on the Alzheimer’s Society Liverpool Memory Walk.
Tony Davidson Cowen and Gary Davidson Taylor cared for Tony’s dad Cedric who passed away from vascular dementia in October 2018.
Just a few months later Tony’s mum Maureen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the pressures of caring for her contributed to Gary’s difficult decision to take a break from their marriage.
Tony and Gary remain close friends and they joined forces on Sunday, September 5 to walk in Cecil’s memory and in tribute to Maureen and all those who care for a loved one with dementia.
They were joined by Tony’s daughter Sian and her partner Abbie alongside over 1,000 other people who united against dementia at Liverpool Memory Walk for the charity’s flagship fundraising walk at Aintree Racecourse.
The couple, who had lived in Manchester for 16 years, moved back to Tony’s childhood home in the village of Melling in April 2016 to care for his dad Cedric who had vascular dementia.
It meant leaving their busy lives in Manchester and was a major sacrifice for Gary in particular, who gave up work to care for Cedric full time, while Tony continued his career as an engineer supervising a mobile network.
Cedric sadly passed away in October 2018 aged 91, which was a devastating blow for the couple.
It was followed by more tragic news when Tony’s mum Maureen was diagnosed as being in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease just three months later.
Tony gave up work to care for his mum in June but the Gary felt they had drifted apart and suggested that they tried a three-month separation.
Speaking after Sunday’s walk, Tony said he and Gary wanted to do the Memory Walk to support other people in a caring role.
He said: “Sunday’s walk was our way to remember my dad and pay tribute to my mum but also as a gesture of support to all those who are looking after people who are living with dementia.
“When people think of Alzheimer’s or dementia they often think of the person living with the condition but the people caring for them are living with it daily too.”