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'It’s not talked about enough' - Nora Owen on dementia and losing her husband to the disease last month

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Nora Owen and her husband Brian. Photo: Frank McGrath

Nora Owen and her husband Brian. Photo: Frank McGrath

Nora Owen and her husband Brian. Photo: Frank McGrath

Former Justice Minister Nora Owen has praised healthcare staff, friends, neighbours and strangers for the kindness shown to her and her husband Brian, who passed away last month following a long battle with dementia.

The former Fine Gael politician, who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary in May 2018 when her husband was ‘in the grip of dementia,’ vowed to continue advocating for those suffering from dementia and the people caring for them following her husband’s death on November 27.

Her late husband, who suffered from dementia for 14 years, told Claire Byrne that dementia is still not talked about openly and she would like to see that changed.

“It’s not talked about enough,” she said on Claire Byrne Live on RTE One tonight.

In the meantime, she said she was delighted with the support she received from friends, family, neighbours and anonymous supporters as she copes with the loss of her husband.

She had special praise for the caring staff at the New Park Care Centre in The Ward where her husband spent his last years.

She said it was difficult visiting him at a distance during the pandemic but was also comforted by friends and neighbours standing on the road to pay their respects as he made his final journey following his death, and hopes that practise will continue after the pandemic.

“They are comforts,” she said.

“I’d say to people who are distressed to take comfort from how much the staff have helped them,” she added.

And she said she will continue to “make people realise that people are out there suffering,” she said of people living with dementia and those caring for them.

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