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Life goes on, says man diagnosed with dementia at 53

A LISBELLAW man has spoken out about his experience of living with dementia.
Davy McElhinney was diagnosed with dementia aged 53 and said that the diagnosis came as a surprise.
Mr McElhinney who formerly worked as a chef was speaking to BBC Sunday Sequence about how his diagnosis came about and how he has lived with the condition since then.
After losing his car one day while shopping in town Mr McElhinny sought advice and received a GP referral to memory clinic and then ultimately he got his diagnosis.
When symptoms first appeared Mr McElhinney told the programme, “I tried to ignore it as much as possible, it wasn’t taken too seriously at the outset, but as things went on people were starting to think that there was something going on and ultimately I realised myself I would need to seek medical advice for whatever was happening.”
After receiving his diagnosis Mr McElhinney said, “It was a total shock and the bottom had just dropped out of our world.” Although the initial days after his diagnosis proved challenging Mr McElhinney has since become a member of Dementia NI a group he says highlighted how people could cope well with dementia.
However, this year due to Covid-19 things for the group changed almost overnight with social contact limited and group meetings moving online due to the pandemic.
Providing an update on his life at present Mr McElhinney positively said, “Life is good at the minute and I really hope that caries on. I don’t let dementia get in my way and it doesn’t define me or rule me in any shape or form. I have to remain positive and active and I live my life very well.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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