Tommy's Story

Tommy's Story

There’s nothing better than a feel-good feeling of being able to get out and about.

Tommy was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s when he was in his 60’s, and he is quick to point out that memory loss is not the only symptom of his condition. Both his mood and his spatial awareness can sometimes be affected, to the point where it can be tempting to “sit with his dementia” and do nothing at all. This is part of why Tommy has figured out so many ways to keep moving and stay on his toes. Whether doing a bit of karaoke in the living room or a spontaneous workout in the garden, it all helps.

You’ve got to make it fun, you know. It's got to be fun, the exercises you do in the house. Yeah, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in December 2011. There was days when, we call it the black dog, when dementia comes and sits beside you and it doesn't want you to do anything. So you've got to, even when you don’t want to, you’ve got to, and when, and once you start, you do want to do it. There's nothing better than a feel-good feeling of being able to get out and about, get some fresh air, to physically do exercises outside, to be able to do activities outside.

I could never understand how people got pleasure out of running and that, but when I feel it kicking in on the treadmill. And I've also used one of the wife’s duvets and painted, uh, circles on it, so I can practice me chipping onto it. Cos I found that exercise is a great way of passing the time, helping relieve stress, helping relieve anxieties, because it releases all that endorphins and you have that feel-good factor, and it's a lovely feeling to feel that. I can't get the coordination [laughs].

How Tommy Gets Moving

Tommy’s creativity has definitely entered into how he’s kept moving during COVID-19. And there’s no better evidence than the homemade driving range he’s fashioned in his back garden out of his wife’s spare duvets. Tommy also follows work out videos and walks on the treadmill, looking for different ways to stay active. Anything that keeps him outdoors, up on his feet, and having a bit of fun is fair game.