Christine’s Story: Young Onset Dementia

Christine tells us how taking part in physical activity sessions for people living with young onset dementia has helped her.

Christine is one of a group of people living with young onset dementia, who meet to take part in physical activity sessions organised by Maidstone Leisure Centre and the Alzheimer’s Society. The sessions are led by trained instructors, with the activities chosen by the participants themselves.

Never in my life have I done something as rewarding as this, even before my diagnosis

“I’ve always been lively and sport from a young age”, Christine explains. The sessions have helped her during this time of change in her life. “We all have different levels of what’s happening to us, and I feel very good coming here”, she says. That sense of enjoyment and fulfilment is down to the staff and volunteers, and also to the connection Christine has made with other participants. “The girls who run it are absolutely wonderful. It’s about mixing with the people that you really click with, and I can only say that there’s a few that I really love them”, she says. “We have conversations, we talk about all different things”.

The sessions have become an important part of Christine’s life, and they have also benefited her partner, as she explains “this gets me out of the house, gives my partner a break”. The whole experience has proved hugely rewarding for her, and gives her motivation to keep going in life. She says “I think giving in is the wrong thing to do, so I’m just keeping myself active. It’s just enjoying taking part in this group – it’s a godsend”.

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