Q and A: Peter Lyttle

Life after a diagnosis 

Peter Lyttle in Lancashire, aged 61 with vascular dementia, answers our questions for Living with dementia magazine.

Peter Lyttle

What’s changed most since your diagnosis?

I’ve never been busier. I set up my own café for younger people living with dementia and other degenerative diseases. It’s called Freshers and I go to every session. We started in March and are set to open to our fourth café, in Preston.

How has Alzheimer’s Society helped you? 

It’s saved my life. Without their support, I would have deteriorated really quickly. They have helped me to realise that my life is worth living – I’ve gotten my self-esteem back!

What song or tune sums up your life so far?

I’m a big fan of Queen, and I identify strongly with the lyrics of Too much love will kill you. Often identified with Freddie Mercury’s HIV, people with dementia could also relate to its message. People who care about you often try to help by doing everything for you. They’re doing this because they care, and I really appreciate that, but it’s important to remember that I can still do things myself.

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

To when I was a child in the 1960s – I have such great memories of my cousins coming over from Ireland. I’d run to the shops and buy hair lacquer in a glass bottle and we’d all play hairdressers. Our hair was like cardboard, but it was such fun.

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