Tale of living with dementia

Wendy Sharps
Wendy Sharps

A South Yorkshire woman, diagnosed with dementia at just 40-years-old, has shared her experiences in a new film.

Wendy Sharps was 35 when she began experiencing symptoms of the disease, but it took her five years to receive a diagnosis.

Now Wendy, of Conisbrough, has decided to tell her story of life with Young Onset Dementia, in a film released on YouTube, to help those struggling with their own diagnosis.

“I knew something wasn’t right for a while,” said Wendy.

“I wouldn’t recognise people who obviously knew me in the street, or I’d get off the bus at the wrong stop. My doctors thought I was stressed or depressed.

“Receiving that diagnosis meant so much, because it explained my memory problems and changing behaviour.”

Following her diagnosis, Wendy was referred to Doncaster’s Young Onset Dementia Service in Balby, which supports adults aged under 65 who are diagnosed with dementia.

Wendy, now aged 47, decided to share her own story to encourage people, who may be concerned they have the condition, to see their GP.

“I’ve never hidden my condition,” she said.

“Dementia meant I started a new chapter of my life – but I’m still a wife, mum and gran. I do have off days, but my family are wonderful and know just what to do to get me going again – whether it’s a ride out in the car, or a visit from my grandchildren.

“The message of the film is that it is possible to live happily after a dementia diagnosis. I’m living my life as normally as possible. I never say I’m suffering with dementia - I say I’m living with it.”