Actress Carey Mulligan opens about grandmother's fight with Dementia
Actress Carey Mulligan opens about grandmother's fight with Dementia

Actress Carey Mulligan opens about grandmother’s fight with Dementia

Carey Mulligan has opened up about the toll that her grandmother’s dementia has taken on her family.

The 31-year-old was appointed Global Dementia Friends Ambassador in August (16) by officials at the Alzheimer’s Society, and she opened up about her grandmother Margaret, affectionately known as Nans, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s around 16 years ago.

The mother-of-one revealed Nans was in a “quite advanced stage” of dementia, and hoped her role as an ambassador would help draw attention to the importance of making communities dementia-friendly.

Now, she has penned a piece in the Daily Telegraph to mark World Alzheimer’s Day on Wednesday (21Sep16), describing the heartbreaking affect the disease has had on her grandmother.

“We’ve always been incredibly close. When I was growing up, I’d go to her house in Wales. She was – and is – the warmest, most intelligent and gentle woman,” she affectionately recalled.

However, dementia began to take over her grandmother, and Carey began noticing the family was losing Nans “piece by piece”.

“I remember sitting down to a meal with her and watching her stare at her knife and fork, having completely forgotten how to use them,” she wrote. “Piece by piece it felt like Nans was being taken from us.”

Sharing photographs of Nans, including one family snap that features Carey’s husband Marcus Mumford smiling in the background, the actress candidly admitted her grandmother now barely speaks.

“Today, Nans rarely communicates verbally and most of the time her eyes are closed… sometimes it feels like she’s not there anymore and that we just can’t reach her – and those are always the hardest visits,” she confessed.

Carey also shared a sweet story about her Nans smiling when she learned she would be a great-grandmother to The Great Gatsby star’s baby daughter Evelyn, who was born a year ago (Sep15).

“However, she is very much still there – and there is so much more to Nans than the dementia. For every visit that ends in tears of sadness, there are visits where we weep with joy,” she added.

Dementia is caused when a person’s brain function begins to decline, and is damaged by diseases such as Alzheimer’s, or a series of strokes. Symptoms may include memory loss, difficulties with doing day-to-day tasks, and language troubles, such as slurred speech.


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