A FORMER councillor with an OBE has revealed his experience of living with dementia during lockdown.

Peter Phizacklea, of Skelwith Drive in Barrow, was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago.

However, the 83-year-old did not let the diagnosis limit him, going on to volunteer with Furness Carers and taking part in numerous Alzheimer’s support groups.

“Bit by bit you start to forget things and not know what’s going on," said Mr Phizacklea.

"I hadn’t a clue what was happening to me.

“I was one of the lucky ones though.

"The Alzheimer’s Society looks after me really well and my family are always around.”

Concern has been raised for those living with dementia in Cumbria after a recent survey revealed sufferers are experiencing crippling loneliness and are struggling to cope during lockdown.

More than three quarters of dementia-sufferers said the coronavirus pandemic has made them feel more lonely or isolated than before, with around half revealing they feel significantly lonelier and more isolated.

Mr Phizacklea said more people need to access services available in the area.

“I am incredibly fortunate because my kids are looking after me during this time,” he said.

“But I know a lot of people aren’t so lucky.

“Meetings work really well for me because you can talk to people going through the same thing. But obviously those have been cancelled now so it is about reaching out to people in different ways. We all need to do the best we can to help one another.”

Mr Phizacklea also said dementia-sufferers are often in denial about their disease.

“So many people who do have Alzheimer’s wont accept they have it and won’t access the help,” he said.

“Once you accept what you have, you can get the help, attend the meetings and reach out to people.”

Alzheimer’s Society dementia advisers provide emotional support on 0333 150 3456 which is available seven days a week.