Name: Peter Berry

Conditions: Dementia

Wears: Flex Silicone Bracelet

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Peter is enrolled in the Safe and Found Programme for MedicAlert members living with dementia or other cognitive and memory loss conditions. MedicAlert has partnered with The McLay Dementia Trust to provide one year free MedicAlert membership with automatic enrollment into the Safe and Found Programme. If you want to find out more or want to fill in an application form to apply to this programme, please click below.


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Deb Bunt, Peter's friend and co-author, tells us more about how Peter's condition has impacted his day-to-day life and how his MedicAlert membership has helped him:

"The skies above my head were darkening, with no hope of light. 

I had the noose around my neck. 

I saw no future.  I wondered what was the point of me?"

These were Peter’s words when he reflected on the impact of his diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Soon after Peter’s diagnosis (aged just 50), he lost his timber business, his driving licence and a great deal of independence.  He had two abortive suicide attempts and it took a year of depression before he could cope with the impact of the diagnosis.

Cycling has always been a huge part of Peter’s life and he decided to put this passion to good use by undertaking a series of cycling challenges to raise awareness and funds around dementia. His hope was to help others avoid experiencing the traumatic few months that he and his family had endured.

The biggest issue around Peter’s diagnosis currently is the impact on his short-term memory.  He remains physically extremely fit and will easily cycle 60 – 100 miles in a day. Over the last year or so, as the mechanics of the gears started to become confusing, he decided to cycle on a single-speed, fixed-gear bike.  Problem solved!  However, he will not remember where he has been on that cycle ride, only that he had a good time.

When he was diagnosed, the family were told his life expectancy would be about eight to ten years.  Eight years into this diagnosis, Peter is still waving a defiant, metaphorical fist at the prognosis and continues to live well, despite the changes in his memory.  He does struggle to read or write in any meaningful way and some tasks can be difficult or even confusing for him.  But for every problem, Peter likes to find a solution and to focus on the things he can do, rather than the things he cannot do. 

Having the MedicAlert bracelet means that Peter’s independence has increased.  If he chooses to go cycling on his own, he doesn’t need to worry about - as he calls it - ‘getting mislaid’.  He is reassured by the fact that someone will be able to assist him, have access to his medical history and offer appropriate help if needed.  Wearing the bracelet has re-opened a door for him and allowed him to continue to focus on being active. 

Peter is one of the most positive and proactive people I know.  Although there are some things he can no longer do and some things with which he struggles more, he refuses to be defined by his condition.  His glass remains half full, often over-flowing and he remains the consummate showman. 

Cycling plays a huge part in maintaining his physical health, as well as creating those wonderful endorphins and serotonins that we all need.

In addition to undertaking several cycling challenges, including a 250-mile, five-day tour on his penny farthing, Peter has abseiled down the Orbital Tower, cycled 1,700 miles over three cold, wet winter months and cycled from London back to his home in Suffolk – all as part of the awareness raising to which he remains steadfastly committed. 

In June 2023 four of us undertook a cycling trip to Holland.  Even though this is barely a memory now, the important thing was that Peter did it and, in the moment (which is very much how he lives) derived immense enjoyment from the trip.

I see a difference in Peter when we are delivering our talks or when we are cycling: he lights up and the energy he generates is palpable.  His confidence soars and he becomes Peter the man or Peter the cyclist, rather than Peter living with dementia.  Any activity that engenders a sense of self-worth and purpose positively impacts Peter’s well-being and confidence. 

Peter thinks that the MedicAlert scheme is a great idea.  Just having the bracelet creates a safety net for him and he would encourage people to join MedicAlert if they want to retain their independence and active lifestyles and not let dementia be a bar to doing this.

Peter wears MedicAlert Flex Silicone Bracelet


If you believe that your story can help others to understand the benefits of MedicAlert, please let us know!


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