67-year-old Trevor Crosby shares his experience living a full, active life with dementia.

Trevor Crosby, lives with dementiaTrevor Crosby has always led an active life. For 35 years, he ran a farm in rural NSW, as well as two other family businesses. Three years ago, the 67-year-old was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, something that hasn’t stopped him from staying more active than most people his age – if not even younger.  

“I’m a bit of a sporting freak,” he says. Aside from doing yoga for over a decade, he sails, plays cricket, golf and lawn bowls and has recently taken up bridge. “Sometimes I wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew,” he chuckles.  

Trevor also volunteers with Dementia Australia, speaking at advocacy and engagement events. Having dementia gave him new opportunities, he says, “to do new things, to meet a lot of people I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t have a problem. The fact that I have dementia has increased my quality of life in certain ways.” 

 His outlook wasn’t always so positive. The initial diagnosis of Lewy body dementia was hard to accept, and came about after his wife Jill noticed memory problems and changes in behaviour, and urged him to see a GP, who then referred him to a neurologist.

“Shock is an understatement,” says Trevor. “I was dumbfounded…I couldn’t believe there was something that could be wrong with indestructible me. The very first moment that I found out, I tried to speak but I couldn’t. I really understood what the definition of speechless was.” 

The diagnosis was followed by a period of helplessness and fear. The turning point in Trevor’s mindset came about after he and Jill took a Dementia Australia program on living well with dementia. “We met up with another dozen people who were floundering around, feeling sorry for themselves, pretty well down in the dumps…in eight weeks there was a total turnaround for us and others.” He now believes that the best thing people with a new diagnosis of dementia can do is to seek information and support from Dementia Australia so that they can be helped and encouraged to live as well as they can with their condition.

While passionate about prevention and quality of life, for Trevor, the future of dementia comes down to one key issue: research. In light of the huge numbers of people affected and the large economic cost, he strongly believes that funding scientific research into dementia, at present the number two killer in Australia, should be of the highest of priorities. But there’s also a personal reason for Trevor: “I want a cure. I want to continue to live.” 

National dementia help line: 1800 100 500


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