Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

James Nesbitt’s agony over mum's Alzheimer's

Together: James Nesbitt and mum

Actor Jimmy Nesbitt has called for more support for families dealing with Alzheimer’s as he opened his heart about his mother’s own battle with the devastating disease.

The television star spoke of the “terror” of watching his mum May lose her battle with dementia and how it feels like she is disappearing before his eyes.

The 44-year-old actor told Sunday Life he was devastated when his mum was diagnosed with the disease around six years ago. May (77) is now being cared for in a private nursing home in Coleraine, where she raised her family.

Nesbitt recently revealed he may head to America for work as the British TV industry is being battered by the recession and roles are drying up.

But he told how will always carry a piece of his mum with him.

“As I get older I think, ‘What bit of me remains in Northern Ireland?’,” he says. “And it’s my voice. When mum goes, I’ll still have the sound of her in me. And I’m glad I’ve got that.

“So much of what lies within is what I happened to inherit from her.”

When he returned home for a visit before Christmas last year, he revealed it was like watching her “disappear” before his eyes.

Facing his mother’s condition has sparked Nesbitt to call for more support for carers.

“There needs to be more support for families around,” he said.

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