Q&A: Ian Boyd, who lives with young-onset Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia

Ian Boyd, a 61-year-old in Gwent with young-onset Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, answers our questions.

Read this story in Welsh

What’s changed most since your diagnosis? 

I was diagnosed at 57, and I’m now 61. I was determined that this was not the end, but I would need to adjust my life around this diagnosis.

Some things have been hard, such as loss of confidence when out and about on my own, but I’m managing my own little routine.

Also, since diagnosis I have become an active member of a dementia group, meeting monthly and liaising with various organisations to help increase awareness of dementia.

Ian Boyd

What would you take to your desert island? 

I would take CDs of Jim Reeves and The Seekers – very retro music, which I find very relaxing.

A book on Wigan rugby league, my favourite team and game, although I’m from Wales I like rugby league over union.

I would also take my toolbox, as I love pottering around making things. 

How has Alzheimer’s Society helped you? 

I used to have a volunteer visit two hours a week, going out to different places. This was brilliant, as it helped my confidence and also helped my family. 

The Dementia Voice group I belong to has helped me regain my confidence in speaking in groups and meeting with people who have also been diagnosed at a younger age same as myself. 

What song or tune sums up your life so far? 

Welcome to My World by Jim Reeves, because it’s not such a bad place. Despite everything, life is to be lived.

What single thing would improve your quality of life? 

Having my two hours a week volunteer visits back, as this was more like meeting a friend. When I returned home, I would recall the things we did and talked about, which helped my cognitive function. 

If you could go back in time, where would you go? 

I would go back to medieval times and see how they built castles, churches etc.

I’m interested in how magnificent structures were built, how they worked, the tools and the materials available and how they worked. 

What is your most treasured possession? 

My family, because they understand and give me support. 

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.

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Dementia together magazine

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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