David Cassidy Shares How He Plans to Spend the Next Chapter of His Life amid Battle with Dementia

The former teen heartthrob is looking forward to focusing on himself

Now that David Cassidy is no longer touring after 50 years on the road, the former teen heartthrob is looking froward to the next chapter.

“I’ve decided I’m going to whittle,” Cassidy, 66, jokingly tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I’m going to devote a lot of time to me as a person as opposed to me as a professional.”

Though the Partridge Family star — who recently revealed his battle with dementia — is coming to terms with his diagnosis, he admits it was tough at first.

“I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” he says. “It’s essential for me to stay centered and with everyday a purpose.”

  • For more on how David Cassidy is coping with his dementia diagnosis, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Despite the fact that he will no longer be playing nightly shows in front of sold-out crowds, Cassidy says he will never stop playing and creating music for as long as he can help it.

“I play my guitar, every day,” he says. “I re-learn things that I knew 40 years ago. It’s really cool, but then I go, ‘How did I do that?’ It’s really quite bizarre.”

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As Cassidy prepares to settle into a much quieter life, he says he has one priority: himself.

“I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions,” he admits. “I want to love. I want to enjoy life. I want love.”

Adds Cassidy: “The world need more kindness.”

Cassidy will appear on Dr. Phil to discuss his diagnosis in a special episode airing March 1.

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