Jean Eastwood, a 71-year old woman in Nottingham who has Alzheimer’s, answers our questions.
What’s changed most since your diagnosis?
Friendships, mainly. I’ve lost a lot of old friends but gained a lot of new friends. When I was first diagnosed it was quite a dark time, and they understand me more.
What would you take to your desert island?
The Bible, it’s very important to me. I go to three churches – one for the music and atmosphere, another I’ve been going to for 29 years, and a local church too.
When I first got my diagnosis, the Society was one of the first places I went to.
How has Alzheimer’s Society helped you?
When I first got my diagnosis, the Society was one of the first places I went to. I’m a great believer in getting whatever advice you can.
Alzheimer’s Society has offered me support and they’ve also given me a lot of opportunities, like hosting a session at last year’s annual conference.
I’m also in our local Focus on Dementia Network group, I volunteer and go to Singing for the Brain, and I’m in the Dementia Choir that was formed with Vicky McClure for the BBC One programme. When you live on your own, you need to get out and do things.
We were together 40 years and he was always there for me. I supported him and he supported me.
What song or tune sums up your life so far?
The wonder of you, by Elvis Presley. I could never sing it without crying. The opening lyrics remind me of my late husband – we were together 40 years and he was always there for me. I supported him and he supported me.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
My husband and I used to go to Guernsey when my son worked there. One time, we surprised him by taking our grandson with us. I phoned him after we arrived and he heard my grandson shout out. He said, ‘Is that Richard?!’ I stood and cried with happiness on a Guernsey beach.
What is your most treasured possession?
My memories. I have lots of memories of wonderful people.
Answer our questions
If you have dementia and would like to answer our questions for a future article, email us to let us know.