‘Sod Dementia!’ Keith Oliver’s Story

14 Jun, 2013 by

‘Sod Dementia!’ Keith Oliver’s Story

‘Sod Dementia!’ – Keith Oliver’s Story – diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia, Keith Oliver insists Dementia is no cause for despair.









‘Sod Dementia!’ – Keith Oliver’s Story

Keith OliverWe shared Keith Oliver’s video on our Video Resource Page, but when we saw the article below in the International Business Times we thought you’d like to see them both together. The news of an unnamed individual opting to kill themselves at a clinic in Switzerland after being diagnosed with Dementia has sparked the euthanasia debate again. But from our experiences talking with Dementia Journeyers around the world, it seems to us that there are many who share Keith’s positive outlook on life with Dementia.

Keith’s Story

Keith Oliver, a successful and respected Head Teacher, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 55. Here he describes his early symptoms, how it affects him now, and how he copes. This video was made as part of a training project. Keith is very keen to raise awareness and spread a positive message, This is his story…



‘Sod Dementia!’ – Diagnosed Keith Oliver Insists Condition is no Cause to Despair

By Dominic Glover

International Business Times

A man’s decision to choose death instead of life with dementia shook people with the condition and those who help them, last month.

The unnamed individual opted to kill himself at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, soon after being diagnosed with the condition in the UK.

His profound and sad choice sparked sympathy for him and his family. The prospect of diminishing mental faculties from dementia, like a reservoir being steadily drained, is very bleak indeed. Memory loss, communication problems and other cognition issues rob so many people of their independence, making a diagnosis a hammer blow.

For relatives, the diagnosis is hardly less traumatic. They face the painful prospect of witnessing a loved one vanish into a fog of dementia, which can leave them unable to recognise their nearest and dearest. Spouses find they are suddenly no longer wives or husbands, but carers instead.

So is it really a fate worse than death, as the poignant suicide of this man suggests? For 820,000 Brits with the chronic condition today – a figure set to grow with the aging population, the question has been raised by this case.

Keith Oliver’s response is a straight ‘no.’ The former headteacher from Canterbury in Kent, is somebody who knows.

He was diagnosed by a doctor on the day of the year when it is compulsory to smile and have fun – New Year’s Eve 2010. It followed months of tests and a dawning realisation lurking in his mind.

Recalling that moment to IBTimes UK he said;

“So often dementia is shown in an extremely negative way; there is fear and misunderstanding about it. People think it’s a rapidly downhill path because they only see the end of the condition. But the illness is only portrayed in its final stages, not at the stage I’m in.”

On the sad case of the dementia suicide, Keith insisted: “It does not need to be like that at all.”

Talking with the former primary school headmaster about dementia is inspiring, not depressing. The 57-year-old shows a strong desire to savour the good things in life with new relish, not succumb to despair.

But he admitted: “You could have knocked me down with a feather when I got the diagnosis.

“My wife was with me and afterwards we went for a walk down the beach. I was determined then that it would not get the better of me.”

Now he gets valuable support from experts such as Admiral Nurses provided by the charity Dementia UK. They help patients and importantly, carers. Hearing Keith’s message of hope makes the choice by a fellow sufferer to end it all sadder still.

His condition is like the changeable British weather, said Keith. The fog, to be precise.

He said: “Sometimes on the foggy days, I ask myself how to deal with it and whether I should just wait for the fog to lift.

Read The Full Article Here>>>


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