A WOMAN whose husband ‘completely changed’ after developing a devastating form of dementia will hold a fundraiser today to pay for much-needed research into the condition.

Tony Baker was always the ‘life of the party’ and played the washboard and spoons in a jazz band before he contracted Lewy Body dementia four years ago.

Tonight his old band, the Bagg’s Tree Buskers, will be the headline act in a special event to raise money for the Lewy Body Society at Harwell Village Hall.

Mr Baker’s wife Di, who is organising the event, said: “He was always the life and soul of the party.

“He was the first one on the dance floor, jiving, and absolutely loved music.

“We cannot believe how quickly he changed.

“He fell and broke his hip in May and has not been home again since.”

The 77-year-old Mr Baker now lives in a specialist care home in Abingdon.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies affects approximately 100,000 people in the UK and is the second most common form of dementia.

It shares symptoms, such as confusion and loss of memory, with Alzheimer’s disease.

The disease can also affect alertness, movement and sleep and can cause hallucinations and fainting spells.

It tends to develop slowly and gradually get worse over time.

Mrs Baker said it was important to raise awareness of the condition because it is not very well known, despite the number of people who are living with the disease.

She added: “It is quite different from all the other forms of dementia because it affects a different part of the brain.

“We first noticed he was not walking very well and we feared he might have dementia or Parkinson’s.

“Now, one day he can walk and talk and other days he just can’t do anything.

“It is very hard to see.”

Alongside the live band performance, a speaker from the Lewy Body Society will give a talk to the more than 100 expected attendees.

The couple have lived in Harwell for 55 years and many old friends are expected to come out and support the event.

Mrs Baker said: “It will be exactly the sort of thing that Tony loved and we are very sad he won’t be able to come along.

“He still enjoys music when I play it to him and I got him to play a bit of his old washboard the other day.

“We just feel it is important to do what we can to try and stop other people having to go through this.

Tickets for the event are still available and priced at £5.

The event starts at 7.30pm.