UK MP stabbed to death was champion of dementia care in Bermuda
A British MP whose life was claimed in a knife attack on Friday was a champion for plans by a Bermuda charity to open a dedicated dementia care centre.
Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West in Essex, was also chairman of the Britain-Bermuda All-Party Parliamentary Group.
Two years ago, Sir David met with Carol Everson, a caseworker with the Bermuda Legion veterans’ charity.
With veterans and their widows ageing, nursing homes full and the island’s senior population steadily on the rise, the Legion was keen to find out how the British Government might be petitioned for a grant to assist.
Shocked after Sir David’s killing, Ms Everson recalled meeting with the MP and his staff at the House of Commons in London.
“The staff were very courteous and kind, but I was not prepared to meet Sir David, who was pleasant and encouraging,” she said.
“He appeared a kind and caring person with a great deal of compassion for everybody and concern for Bermuda as the chairman of a committee of MPs who have Bermuda’s best interests at heart.”
Sir David reviewed plans for a residential centre in Bermuda and joked that “it sounded so marvellous, he wanted to live there himself”, Ms Everson said.
“I was impressed with his humanity, warmth and caring, and how he was immediately able to relate to the problems of the elderly.”
She said Bermuda’s residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia likely numbered 3,000, based on comparisons with other communities.
The charity wants to replicate in Bermuda the model of Dunkirk Memorial House in England, a Royal British Legion care home.
Ms Everson called it “an absolutely beautiful place where people with dementia live totally free and happy lives”.
“It’s a difficult project requiring a great deal of money.”
The Legion has been offered a site in Warwick that would be “expensive – but if we could get sponsors we could get it started”, Ms Everson said.
“We have a building manager, an architect, the plans and everything we need, except the kind donor who will make it work.”
The Legion plans to return with another round of its dementia caregiver’s course, backed by the group Alzheimer’s Disease International.