David Bailey has disclosed that he suffers from dementia, a life-limiting disease that he describes as “boring.”
Bailey, 83, told the New York Times, “I have vascular dementia.” It’s been approximately three years since I was diagnosed.
“It’s a pain in the neck, but it’s one of those things. It’s excellent in some ways: I can see a movie, forget about it, and then watch it again two years later. And it doesn’t seem to have any effect on my work.”
After Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia is the second most prevalent type of dementia, affecting approximately 150,000 individuals in the UK. According to the NHS, it is caused by a reduction in blood supply to the brain, and symptoms include disorientation, sluggish thinking, and changes in mood or behavior.
According to the British Heart Foundation, patients survive an average of five years after their symptoms are discovered.
Despite the illness, Bailey continues to work on a variety of projects and spent time painting at his residences in London and Devon throughout the pandemic.
Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles, both former England and Manchester United players, are among the former footballers who have been diagnosed with dementia later in life.
Bailey, who has been married to his fourth wife, model Catherine Dyer, for 35 years and hasn’t drank or smoked in almost 50, said, “You make the most of every day because there might not be a tomorrow.”
“I’ve been with Catherine for 40 years. That’s a significant amount of time. Especially when your memory span is just three months,” he explained.
Bailey, who traveled to distant areas of India, Afghanistan, and Papua New Guinea until he was in his 70s, stated, “I only realized I was old a couple of years ago, and it came as a great shock.” Eighty-three. “Hell on earth.”
Thanks to Jedidajah Odette at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.