Q&A: Gail Gregory, who lives with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease

Gail Gregory, a 56-year-old in Lancashire with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease, answers our questions.

What’s changed most since your diagnosis? 

The biggest thing that’s changed is me. I now have a more positive outlook on life.

And because I’m positive about things, I love to share things with others to show people that we can still do things when we have dementia.

We can still learn new skills. It’s a whole new chapter – I call it my dementia chapter. 

Gail Gregory

What would you take to your desert island? 

I did think at first my mobile phone, if it worked off solar power, because there’s all sorts on it – photos, poems, lots of memories on there. 

If not an electrical item, I’d take my watercolours. It’s something I’ve picked up over lockdown, I’d never done it before.

I could then paint the scenery around me, the flowers and the plants, and that would be my memory of being on a desert island. 

What song or tune sums up your life so far? 

Fight song by Rachel Platten, because it’s a very positive sort of a song. Throughout the song, she’s fighting for things all the time and wanting to achieve and wanting to get there.

I’ve always been one that’s had to fight to keep going – more so now! 

What single thing improves your quality of life? 

This has got to be my dog Toby, who is my four-legged pal. He’s always at the side of me when I’m not feeling well, and he also keeps me very active because he gets me out every day and walking in the fresh air, which is good for my mental wellbeing as well.

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

My wedding day. Everyone that was at my wedding meant a lot to me, it was everybody that we loved and wanted there because it was only a small wedding.

We’ve lost people now that was there, so it would be nice to go back and spend some time with them again. 

What is your most treasured possession? 

If you’d have asked me this about 10 years ago, I would have said my car. But now, my whole perspective on things has changed and the most important thing for me is my camera.

Every single day I’m creating new memories. I’ve been out this morning for an hour and a half, just sitting and snapping the birds flying past.

I might forget next week where I was, but I can look back at the photos and I’ve got the wonderful memories. 

Read Gail’s blog and hear her and others’ Dementia Diaries

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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: June/July 21

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.
Subscribe now