Tributes paid on passing of 'brilliant' advocate for carers of dementia sufferers, Rachel McMahon

Tributes paid on passing of 'brilliant' advocate for carers of dementia sufferers, Rachel McMahon
The late Rachel McMahon. Picture: RIP.ie

Tributes have been paid to a leading and “brilliant” advocate for carers of people suffering with dementia, who was laid to rest today, in her native Limerick.

Rachel McMahon, (34), who passed away suddenly last Monday, had previously cut short her studies in Journalism when she was 19, to help care for her father, Tony, a well-known sports journalist, after he was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.

Mr McMahon, who passed away in December 2012, was a well-known sports journalist and racing correspondent for Limerick’s Live 95FM, after previously started his broadcasting career with Big L in 1978, through to Radio Lumni, and Radio Limerick One (RLO).

In a poignant Facebook post, marking her father’s most recent anniversary last December, Ms McMahon wrote: “Dad passed away seven years ago today. It never became easier but he left me beautiful memories. I bring his story everywhere, his picture is never too far away, I can listen to him, watch him. He’s there if I need him, just in a different way.”

In an online tribute, a spokesperson for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, wrote: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Rachel McMahon, a valued and committed member of the Dementia Carers Campaign Network (DCCN). Rachel had cared for her Dad, Tony, and more recently her grandmother who both had dementia.”

“Over the years Rachel has spoken to the media about her experiences, been a brilliant advocate for dementia on social media, participated in research projects, fundraising, our branch network, spoken at many different events, engaged in political advocacy and inspired others to share their stories.”

“We send our deepest condolences to her family and in particular her mother, Theresa, who is also a member of the DCCN.”

In a piece written for the Society Ms McMahon about the barriers caregivers face, she offered: “Caregivers are ‘all-in’ all the time. But we are only at our best when we are supported. Then we can help our loved ones live the best version of their lives. That’s what the Alzheimer Society helps us do. They do their best to fill in the massive gaps in services.”

Calling on people to help fundraise for the group, Ms McMahon’s composition concluded:

“So, I hope you’ll hear me now? Please host an event and help people with dementia live the best version of their lives Thank you.”

Ms McMahon is survived by her mother Theresa and brother Paul.

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