I worked as a practicing psychologist up until 2014. In 2015, I started undergoing tests when I noticed changes in my functioning, and that friends were commenting on changes in my personality and behaviour.
Following my initial diagnosis, I started researching everything about dementia and acting on this research. I made the decision that I could either sit back and let dementia take me, or I could fight back and do everything in my power to maintain my functioning and keep living my life to the full.
It was at that time I became a Dementia Advocate with Dementia Australia. I have also continued volunteering with Rotary Australia and the Australian Red Cross.
I began to speak publicly, spreading awareness and knowledge, and giving support to those struggling with the disease. I also co-hosted peer support groups with Dementia Alliance International. I find it therapeutic to share my story, and to encourage others not to give up.
My already busy life became busier, but it was a good busy … a busyness that gave me a purpose, and gave the dementia in my life a purpose. Dementia advocacy has increased my social interaction and my will to keep going. I encourage others living with dementia, or caring for someone with dementia to consider becoming an advocate and undertake the Dementia Advocate Training through Dementia Australia. I now represent and support other dementia advocates as Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee.
I work with others in my local area to establish a Dementia Alliance, as part of becoming a Dementia Friendly Community. We work together to support people living with dementia to continue engaging in the activities that are important to them. Visit the Dementia Friendly website to check if there is a Dementia Alliance in your area. If there is not, contact Dementia Australia about starting one.
My involvement in dementia research has also given me knowledge and hope. I can keep up with all that is happening, plus it gives me the opportunity to hopefully improve the future for people living with dementia. StepUp for Dementia Research is the first systematic and inclusive way for dementia researchers to recruit participants in Australia. I find it helps to keep me informed about research projects that I may not otherwise hear about. You can sign-up to find out more about different research studies and opportunities to participate.
How to get involved
- Become an advocate and undertake the Dementia Advocate Training through Dementia Australia.
- Visit the Dementia Friendly website to check if there is a Dementia Alliance in your area. If there is not, contact Dementia Australia about starting one.
- Register with StepUp for Dementia Research to get involved in dementia related research.
For more information on this website
- Read the news article: Busting myths to combat stigma
- Read more about Bobby Redman: Bobby’s story: adjusting, accepting, and succeeding
- Read 4.9 Join a group to be more socially active