Living for Today

When I visit Mum, I try to greet as many other residents by name as I can. There’s a certain irony in the fact that I can’t remember too many of their names but we’ll gloss over that.

The smile, sometimes beaming but always warm, which follows is something to behold. It’s a simple act, not original, but it’s worth it. Last time I was there, I received similar replies from two ladies:

“Oh hello, I haven’t seen you for ages….”

and 

“Oh, I haven’t seen you for years and years.”

It was only a few days since I’d last seen and spoken to them and it reminded me again, that for so many people living with dementia, today is not only a new day, it’s sometimes the only day.

Tomorrow, Sunday 18th May, is the start of Dementia Awareness Week. The following day I’ll be leading a Dementia Friends Awareness session in Coventry, as we try to create one million Dementia Friends by 2015. As I write this, there are currently 137,063 so we’ve a way to go. If you want to know more, go to http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk. For those who want to become Friends on Monday, I’ll be asking for one action – however small – to help us build a Dementia Friendly Society.

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Showing patience in the supermarket queue, greeting someone living with dementia by name, there are countless acts which will help. With the prospect of one in three people over the age of 65 living with dementia, we’re all likely to be touched by it in some way. Together, we can make a difference.

 

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2 Responses to Living for Today

  1. Kelly hobbs says:

    I have been a carer for 14years, to dementia patients. I cant quite explain the feeling of knowing when my shift ends I have made a difference in someone’s life, they may not realize it or even remember it, but I know I’ve done it and the individuals are left happy safe warm clean and smiling when I leave and that’s good enough for me. These individuals become an extended family member and that sometimes means you have to hold their hand when they take their last breath too, while trying to hold back the tears, then when the family members come to say their final goodbye it gets that bit harder to hold the tears back, u really want to greif with them as you also feel you’ve lost your family member but you need to be strong for the family so you say “I’m sorry for your loss” and tend to the other individuals who are still alive and still need you.
    I have worked in many care homes from nursing to disability and theres never been a home quite like the one I work in now “the firs residential home” based in Kidderminster is one of the most superb caring homes I’ve ever known.

    • Hi Kelly. Thank you so much for these words which, I have to confess, brought a tear to my eye. The caring team at The Firs is exceptional. Thank you for all you did for Mum and for being part of her second family. Duncan

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