78 year old Carlo from Bridge of Allan is kept active by his friends and family. We caught up with Carlo’s wife Patricia to find out how they stay connected to their friends.
“Carlo was diagnosed with dementia in 2010, aged 71, while he was still in the early stages of the illness. There was a history of dementia in Carlo’s family – his mother and three of his sisters were all diagnosed – which meant that we were alert to the symptoms.
“The way Carlo’s diagnosis was delivered wasn’t great and understandably he became quite depressed following on from that. Thankfully he overcame that and we’ve kept very active.
“At the beginning we didn’t really tell many people outside of the family. It wasn’t really necessary because he was still pretty well. As things have changed we’ve let more people know.”
“Carlo got really into squash in his mid-30s and used to play competitively all over Scotland. He’d kept up the sport and had a weekly game going with a group of friends. Recently his friend Douglas moved away to Dunfermline and we had sort of assumed that would be the end of playing squash, but Douglas has been brilliant and travels the 45 mile round trip to play squash with Carlo every Thursday. Douglas is very good with Carlo and is happy to help him in the changing room, which he needs now. It’s great that Carlo can keep playing his favourite game with his friends.
“We’ve also made new friends and connections through the different local activities for people with dementia. We go to the coffee morning twice a month, the walking group at Stirling University and Carlo now goes to the Football Reminiscence group too. We see lots of the same people at the groups and it is nice to catch up with them.
“Carlo doesn’t go out by himself now, but we enjoy going for lunch together with our friends. Our neighbours have also been good. They’re very friendly and we’ll often have a chat in the garden or they’ll pop in for a coffee. And, of course, our family has been a terrific support through everything. We’re really lucky to have so many good people around us.”