Former Exeter teacher continues to educate pupils after Alzheimer’s and dementia diagnosis

By Anita Merritt  |  Devonlive.com

 

A former school teacher is continuing to educate pupils, despite being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia four years ago.

Barrie Carless was a games and history teacher in Exeter for 37 years, and was recently invited to West Exe School during Dementia Awareness Week to educate pupils about the disease and health condition. Accompanied by his wife Sara, he gave an informal talk to 17 students during their lunch break, and invited them to ask him any questions they had.

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Sara and Barrie Carless

A former school teacher is continuing to educate pupils, despite being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia four years ago.

Barrie Carless was a games and history teacher in Exeter for 37 years, and was recently invited to West Exe School during Dementia Awareness Week to educate pupils about the disease and health condition. Accompanied by his wife Sara, he gave an informal talk to 17 students during their lunch break, and invited them to ask him any questions they had.

Barrie said: “I had been involved in sport all my life and had a long teaching career, so it was a big shock when I was diagnosed with two forms of dementia. In many ways our lives have changed a lot by this.

“It is not only memory loss which is what many people think, but it’s also about learning new skills. I rely very much on my wife Sara, but we try to live our life positively by keeping busy, seeing friends and doing a lot of walking to keep as fit as possible.”

Sara added. “There is often bad press about young people today, but the students from Year 7, 8 and 9 at West Exe gave up their lunchtime to meet us to learn about what it is like to live with dementia.

“Many of them had already become Dementia Friends and others expressed an interest in doing so. We tried to pass on the message that there is nothing scary about people living with dementia, but that we all need understanding and patience as they try to live as normal a life as possible for as long as possible.”

The school visit was organised by Gina Awad of the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA).

Read more at http://www.middevongazette.co.uk/former-exeter-teacher-continues-to-educate-pupils-after-alzheimer-s-and-dementia-diagnosis/story-30357573-detail/story.html#cd3ByMlIzWz4fMCF.99

 

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