I was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in November 2017. After struggling with my job as a county counsellor for some time, I had to stop working.
I was told about a choir that Vicky McClure was setting up for those living with dementia, so I emailed them telling them all about my journey with dementia. After an initial meeting I then went along to meet the rest of the choir. We were all living with different forms of dementia. The feeling that I wasn't alone was very comforting.
We all had to learn songs that we didn't remember very well. Every choir meeting was like the first time. I loved meeting all of the others and we formed strong bonds. Our families formed friendships and found support with each other.
The feeling of joy when I knew I was going to choir practice was great, it made me feel really good. Singing helps me relax and de-stress. It's been a great experience for me and really does help.
The TV programme (BBC One's Our Dementia Choir), I hope, showed that a diagnosis of dementia isn't the end of your life. We can still enjoy living we just do it in a different way. I'm lucky I'm still able to get about with the support of my family but not everyone has that support.
People need to look at dementia in a different way, they need to see that it's not just an old person’s illness but can affect young people.
I hope the choir showed that.
- Julie Hill