One of the first difficulties I had was I couldn’t remember how to strap my grandchildren into their car seats. I was also having trouble with writing and spelling. I would struggle to find the word I needed in a conversation.
My GP referred me to the Cognitive Disorders Clinic at the hospital where I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Initially I was given the drug Aricept but I found it spoiled my sleep. I’m now on Galantamine and that suits me much better.
I was semi-retired and I stopped work altogether after my diagnosis. My doctor told me I wouldn’t be able to drive anymore but I was sure I could. I got in touch with the DVLA and after an assessment they cleared me to carry on. I have to have a test every year but I want to drive for as long as possible.
I find talking to people very difficult. Groups of people are especially hard, it’s much easier if it’s just one person.
I volunteer at a local environmental charity. I love being outside. And I have really good close friends I can spend time with. We do a lot of cycling and walking, and always enjoy a hot chocolate en route!
I almost didn’t believe it at first. Part of me wished I hadn’t been told. It comes as an earth-shattering blow when the doctor breaks it to you that your husband has Alzheimer’s at the age of 61. All your plans and hopes for the future have suddenly gone. But knowing what was wrong with Dave meant that we could access assistance and advice early on, and YoungDementia UK has already been a tremendous support.
His support worker, Lisa, comes every week for 'One to One' and goes walking and cycling with Dave, which has been brilliant. It gives him some structure and he really looks forward to it. It also means that I can go out without feeling guilty about leaving Dave on his own.
- Jenny was a speaker at our conference, Young Dementia 2014. You can read her presentation here.