Dessie Ferguson, a 66-year old man with vascular dementia in Ballymena, answers our questions.
What’s changed most since your diagnosis?
Medication since diagnosis has helped to slow down my memory loss. I had planned to spend my retirement farming beef cattle.
At the moment, my livestock consist of a gander and two geese. They are not what you would call cuddly pets, but they know I look after them and in turn they guard the farm as well as any dog would do.
‘I keep busy cutting firewood and will take each day at a time,’ says Dessie.
Working outside is still important to me and I might get cattle next year. Until then I keep busy cutting firewood and will take each day at a time.
How has Alzheimer’s Society helped you?
Our local Society provided practical support and literature about living with dementia. This was greatly appreciated by my wife and family.
I’ve also been accompanied to several activities, including a question and answer session with final year pharmacy students and attending Kilrea Livestock Mart to be interviewed by Radio Ulster.
What helps you relax?
I enjoy watching Sir David Attenborough’s nature programmes as well as science and history documentaries by Brian Cox and Alice Roberts.
The Blues Brothers movie always makes me laugh – it includes a great scene about the music from Rawhide, and features singers like Aretha Franklin and James Brown.
‘I like to be outside a lot but don’t like getting soaked,’ says Dessie.
What single thing would improve your quality of life?
Better weather would help, with less rain and storms. I like to be outside a lot but don’t like getting soaked. Farmers need rain, but in Northern Ireland we often get far more than we need!
Answer our questions
If you have dementia and would like to answer our questions for a future article, email us to let us know.