Ron Robert was “shocked and distressed” over his Alzheimer’s Diagnosis 3 years ago, but instead of letting the Disease get the better of him, it has inspired a Brand New Chapter of his Life.
After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, 81-year-old Ron Robert decided to enroll in University as a Personal Experiment to see if Education could keep the Chronic Neurodegenerative Disease at bay.
As a means of keeping his mind sharp, this Senior started taking classes at King’s University College in London, Ontario (Canada).
“I thought when I was given this diagnosis, I got to change my lifestyle; I’ve got to do something about this thing,” Ron told CTV News. “I mean, I’m not just going to sit on my butt and let my brain turn to mush.”
Enrolling in the school has not only helped the Canadian Senior stay engaged, it is also helping to inspire his fellow Dementia Patients and raise Awareness for what it is like to Live with the Disease.
According to the society, more than half a million Canadians are living with Dementia. In less than 15 years, moreover, that number is expected to double to nearly one million.
“Too many people, they get diagnosed with something like Alzheimer’s and they think somehow it’s the end,” Robert told CTV News. “Well, it’s not an end – it’s just a new beginning. It’s something you’ve got to work at. And actually, it’s a good thing because I was getting quite bored being retired! So this is all a new challenge for me.”
Ron is now a 1st Year Undergraduate Student at the University where he takes classes twice a week in political science and disability studies. Ron said that his classes in political science and disability studies have been a Tremendous Help to his Mental Health.
“I feel really good,” he said. “The short-term memory is terrible; long-term memory has improved. I feel better mentally, and I think that’s a big important part too. You’ve got to be upbeat.”
Though his peers at the University are young enough to be his grandchildren, they have been especially supportive of Robert’s mission. On the few occasions that Robert becomes disoriented in the university facilities, students are always quick to approach him and offer their assistance.
Ron is also one of the Faces of the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s “Yes. I live with Dementia” campaign to mark Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in January. By “shining a light on the facts about people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia,” the Campaign aims to challenge “misconceptions so that the stigma that surrounds the disease can be reduced.”
The Senior hopes to continue his Education until he can eventually graduate from the school alongside his peers, but until then, he has other aspirations for his fellow dementia-sufferers.
“I’m hoping I’m the beginning of a wave,” said Ron . “I hope that all those people out there listening that have given up on Alzheimer’s will just get off their butts and join me out here!”
(Photos by Screenshot from the Video by CTV News.)
(Source from CTV News on 7 January 2019 and Good News Network on 9 January 2019.)