I volunteer as a dementia envoy. I promote awareness of young onset dementia and support other people who share a similar diagnosis. One door does open as one closes and my life, like that of many others, has been filled with different activities, rewards and interests since retiring – in fact life couldn’t be busier and more varied!
- Keith, diagnosed at 55 with young onset Alzheimer's disease
Leaving work does not mean you no longer have a useful role to play in your community. You can take on a voluntary role with any number of organisations who can offer a wide range of activities to help fill your days, perhaps doing fundraising, gardening, walking dogs, clearing woodland or raising awareness and understanding of young onset dementia.
You may find that voluntary work is less pressurised and more flexible, especially if you are not able to work everyday and that having a regular activity to look forward to keeps you motivated, positive and connected with others.
If you take on a voluntary role with an organisation, it may be a good idea to tell them about your diagnosis so they can ensure your safety and wellbeing. To look for volunteering opportunities where you live, visit the Govenment's website which contains some useful links.