A TALENTED retired architect who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s has died after suffering a head injury sustained after a fall, an inquest heard.

Adrian Neal Palmer died at the age of 81 on May 23 at his home in Murton in Appleby.

The formerly self-employed architect moved from Suffolk to Westmorland in the 1980’s and even designed his own house at Gastle Barn, the inquest was told.

In a statement made to the Coroner’s Court in Cockermouth, his son Piers Palmer, said: “Two years ago he suffered a blackout while in his car.

“He had suffered a few more when his condition was being investigated.

“He was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.”

Mr Palmer went on to say how his father, who also had Type 2 diabetes, had been admitted to Cumberland Infirmary with gastrointestinal bleeding on May 11 .

He was treated in the hospital until May 22.

He told the coroner how a care plan had been put in place due to his condition.

But on May 23, Mr Palmer tried to call his father a few times in the morning with no response, so went to his house.

“At 10.30am I arrived and I had not noticed anything untoward,” Mr Palmer said.

“I then found him lying at the bottom of the stairs.

“I phoned the ambulance and the operator advised me to try CPR but I knew that he was dead.”

PC Nick Mandale who attended the scene said he found no suspicious circumstances and no evidence that the father-of-three fell from higher up the stairs.

“He was known to the paramedics due to his recent medical issues,” PC Mandale said.

“I checked for suspicious injury and there was a mark on the back of his head.

“Paramedics said that this was from falling on the tiles.

“I believe he lost his balance and fell backwards.”

Liz Nixon, occupational therapist for North Cumbria Integrated Care, told the court that she saw Mr Palmer on May 22 and he seemed tired but settled and said that he was “pleased to see his cat”.

She also said the model train enthusiast was capable of using the stairs as he had given her a tour of his house.

The cause of death given was a head injury consistent with falling down the stairs.

In her conclusion, coroner Kirsty Gomersal accepted the cause of death given, she said: “Findings showed that the blood vessels in his heart narrowed by 90 per cent, which means he may have suffered a health event before his fall.

“My conclusion is that Mr Palmer died as a result of an accident, on the balance of probability.”