Pushing Back Against Dementia – Chrissy’s Journey

Apr 12, 2021

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This is a really unique and important episode. We are witnessing a sea change in dementia. More people are being diagnosed, earlier and younger. And people are figuring out how to actually fight back against the disease and taking ownership of their condition. My guest this week on the Evolving Past Alzheimer’s podcast, Chrissy Thelker, was diagnosed with Vascular dementia at age 57 and nearly 5 years later is still living on her own, driving, and living a life of incredible purpose… her story inspires, but she also gives useful information for anyone out there working through the early stages of the disease. This is one you’re crazy not to listen to….an amazing episode!

In this Episode You Will Learn:

  • 2:00 – What it was like to receive a dementia diagnosis
  • 6:22 – Why a dementia specialist refused to take Chrissy on as a patient
  • 9:44 – How Chrissy followed the Bredesen protocol to slow her dementia symptoms and almost completely prevent herself from getting worse
  • 14:56 – What it’s like to live with dementia
  • 19:22 – How to balance fighting against the dementia with tending to your new needs living with the disease
  • 21:22 – “You have to monitor yourself, and if we all learned from a younger age that it’s ok to rest, we would all be doing better in our health.”
  • 23:37 – What does it mean to live with purpose after a dementia diagnosis?
  • 29:45 – What it feels like to hear “you don’t look like you have dementia”
  • 37:31 – How Chrissy thinks about the future
  • 43:54 – Some major conversations happening in the DAI community and people living with dementia – the connection between sleep and brain health
  • 48:33 – “Dementia is like a spider web. We need treatments to help manage the different aspects and symptoms rather than a cure.”
  • 52:40 – Why organizations working towards treatments and cures need more people suffering from the disease at the table
  • 1:00:00 – “Have those conversations early in receiving your diagnosis about your driving and other aspects of your independence.”
  • 1:06:16 – How has COVID impacted her function as someone living with dementia

Resources Mentioned

Chrissy’s Book – For This I’m Grateful

Chrissy’s Blog

Dementia Alliance International


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