A North East mum can no longer remember her family after being diagnosed with dementia just eight weeks ago.

Nicola Marlborough, 47, mum of two, from Sunderland, said her mother, Ann, 76 who was diagnosed with dementia eight weeks ago no longer recognises her home, daughter, or husband of 56 years.

Nicola said her mother thinks of her as a "helper" and gets agitated because she believes her now-passed parents are coming to pick her up.

She said dementia changed her mother into a completely different person in just a few years, and she will now take part in the South Shield Memory Walk to raise money and awareness for the condition.

Read more: Darlington woman's plea to raise awareness of dementia in town

The Northern Echo:

“At first it was just simple things, like forgetting the PIN for her bank card, which can happen to anyone," she said.

"But there was also a change to her personality – she started to become snappy and argumentative, which was really out of character for her.

“I think both dad and I are over the emotional stage now and have accepted that this is just part of her condition.

Dementia is an incurable brain condition which slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Nicola said her father Craven, 80, sometimes struggles with her mother’s condition and she wants to be there to support them both.

She also said her mother was a walking addict before her condition worsened, but now her family looks for different ways to keep her active.

Nicola moved back in with her family in 2009 after splitting with her partner and says she will always care for her mother.

“At the end of the day, the only way to deal with that is to distract her and, of course, show her lots of love, which isn’t difficult at all because she’s my mum.

“In a way it’s a blessing that she doesn’t understand what’s happening to her, but it’s awful for the family.

“She looked after me for many years, so taking care of her now is the least I can do.”

Read more: 34-year-old Teesside woman diagnosed with rare form of dementia

The Northern Echo:

Nicola has received lots of support from her family, friends and partner, and will be walking to support the Alzheimer’s society with a close friend whose family has also suffered with dementia.

Her mother attends the support group North East Dementia Care in Sunderland three times a week, and Nicola says her family would be lost without it.

South Shields Memory Walk is run by the Alzheimer’s Society and will take place at Bents Exhibition Park on Saturday, 8 October.

It will raise funds to support people living with dementia and their carers, with those unable to attend able to pick a walking location of their own to raise money for the charity.

The Alzheimer's Society's Memory Walk events have been held for over 10 years and have seen half a million walkers raise over £41 million.

There are 900,000 people across the UK currently living with dementia and this is expected to rise to 1 million by 2025.

Anyone in need of support in dealing with dementia should contact the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect support line: 0333 150 3456.

Go here to support Nicola.

Read next: