Ananga Moonesinghe, a 74-year old man in Luton with Alzheimer’s, answers our questions.
What’s changed most since your diagnosis?
Before, I was an outgoing socialite. The Alzheimer’s has curtailed that really, in the sense that I can’t stand crowds, too much noise. These are the things that I miss, because both my wife and I are very sociable people.
What would you take to your desert island?
The most important thing is my family, and I’d like some of the old 50s and 60s music, such as the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Motown, Jim Reeves, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby…
How has Alzheimer’s Society helped you?
It’s been a miracle. Without it I think I’d be lost, we’d both be lost. At one stage, they were throwing so much information at us we were getting overloaded.
But I joined a cognitive stimulation group and that helped me to face society, go out and know that yes, I can mix, I can still hold a conversation without being looked at or your eyes glaze over.
Jan, at the Society, every week she rings us up and checks whether we’re OK, and she’s the one who chases up things. She’s a godsend!
What song or tune sums up your life so far?
Welcome to my world, by Jim Reeves. All you’ve got to do is remember the words.
What single thing would improve your quality of life?
To be able to communicate better. I’ve seen a speech therapist and I am getting better at my speech. At one stage, this conversation, it’d be totally stuttered – there’d be times when you wouldn’t be able to understand me.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I’d have liked to meet my wife again, I think I would have appreciated her more.
Because ours was a mixed marriage they gave us six months, and now it’s 46 years.
Like most marriages we’ve had our ups and downs, but I couldn’t do without her. I’d like to think she couldn’t do without me, but I’m sure she could manage!
Answer our questions
If you have dementia and would like to answer our questions for a future article, or you know someone who would, email us to let us know.