Surely the best way to find out more about what people diagnosed with dementia need and feel is to listen to them, and to those who care for them.
The great thing these days is there are a lot of ways to do this, aside from sitting down and talking to them. There are many people living with dementia, or caring for someone, who are prepared to share their stories - via blog posts, facebook pages, poems, songs and other various mediums.
One I have come across is a blog by George Rook (England), and I thought I would share this with you today. There are several posts that are well worth a read but I thought this one is a good place to start as it really hits from the heart.
George Rook - living with dementia as well as I can
Do People Still Talk to You?
At a Dementia Friendly Whitchurch meeting yesterday the daughter of a lady living with dementia said people stopped talking to her, and stayed away, after her diagnosis.
She said it was such a shame because her mother suddenly lost her friends. She had no one to talk to.
She had no one to chat and laugh with.
No one to remind her who she is. No one to make her use her mind, find words, retain and relive memories.
They thought it was down to fear.
Fear of dementia.
Continue on George's post....
It’s a horrible thought that a person could be diagnosed with dementia and quickly find themselves feeling isolated and abandoned by friends and family.
But we are all only human, the more we share stories like this one, the more conscious society will become that we need to step towards these things that can make us feel uncomfortable or frightened.
One big takeaway from this post is when George references the quote:
“It’s not what you say that matters; it’s how you make the other person feel.”
If we start listening to people living with dementia, then we can learn how we make them feel.
If you write a blog about living with dementia I would love to hear from you. I’d be happy to share your stories on our blog. If you are someone who would like to give blogging a go, I would also like to invite you to get in touch and become a guest blogger. People need to hear your stories, and I’m happy to help with the writing if needed. Like most of us out here I am someone who just decided to start tapping on the keyboard myself, so anyone can give it a go.