WHEN Don Daley is sharing his welding expertise with others at the Elermore Vale Men’s Shed, there appears to be no evidence that he has Alzheimer’s.
The 84-year-old former TAFE teacher is highly skilled in fitting and turning.
Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in March was a shock for Mr Daley but not for his wife, Valerie, who knew something was amiss long before he did.
His symptoms were occasional forgetfulness, losing his train of thought, and fragmented speech.
Like most men would, Mr Daley started to withdraw after the diagnosis.
It was Alzheimer’s Australia NSW’s project officer Stuart Torrance, chairman of the Every Bloke Needs A Shed initiative, who gave him direction.
Mr Torrance works with the Elemore Vale Men’s Shed to promote social engagement for men living with Alzheimer’s.
Once a week, Mr Daley visits the shed and instructs other members how to weld.
They say his speech becomes more fluent whenever he talks about the subject that he loves and has familiarity.
Mr Daley said at first, it was difficult to come to terms with a condition he did not realise he had, but the Men’s Shed helped him.
‘‘It’s been great here, even if the old head doesn’t work as good as it used to,’’ Mr Daley said.
Mr Daley will take part in Alzheimer’s Australia’s annual Hunter Memory Walk & Jog this Sunday at Speers Point Park. The organisation aims to raise $150,000 to help people living with dementia and their families.
Funds raised will go to the Hunter Dementia and Memory Resource Centre, which provides services and support to an estimated 10,000 people living with dementia in the Hunter Region.
■ For more information, phone 49627080 or walkers can register on the day from 7am.