A little while ago Nanny Jean and I took part in another diversealz chat in Twitter. If you can get there guys I really would recommend joining in, every Thursday 8pm GMT. There is a different topic every week, of course all relating to dementia!
This post covers the diversealz chat we had about people living with dementia, and what they have taught us. With nan joining in it was also a good opportunity to find out what I had taught her, unfortunately by the time I got round to finding the transcript most of the conversation had disappeared, I think I’ve got all the key points though but let me know if there’s anything you think I missed
How can we stop people with dementia, especially older people, from being dismissed?
We talked about the things like the dementia friends, adding to the voice of people with dementia. Ensuring that we listen to and support the opinions of those with dementia. We also discussed the need for more good press on what people with dementia are achieving. And talking about and recognising the day to day accomplishments that people with dementia have. For example the smiles, that make a hard week evaporate “A smile is worth a lifetime, every single one counts”. The happy memories we create for ourselves by spending quality time with our loved ones. What we need to remember is that they’re still people, though dementia diminishes parts of memory, much still remains, just have to find it. Nan wanted to let us know that dementia is an illness. Its not like drug taking. Its a medical thing. Shouldn’t be punished for being ill. I don’t see how we can stop people writing us off if that is their attitude. Ignore them and push forward.
What can we learn from our caree? Many with dementia create smiles wherever they go as are often happy. have found the fun side of mum is very much alive and well. To live in the now. I have learned that there is still so much that nan can do, and that I should not stop her from doing things because I think she cant, this is a recurring theme in my blogs. To be ourselves. To enjoy life and dance whenever the need takes us. how amazing humans are at adapting to their lot in life. how easy it is to make a difference. nan encouraged me to get writing. sharing experiences and understand what life is about. how to read body language. humanity, humility, kindness and diversity. learning to think about others and how actions can affect them.
What can we learn from our carer?
Nan says it encourages me to look at things in Kirsty’s eyes because I’ve had a different bringing up and I must say that I prefer this way of living than the way I had to live when I was a youngster growing up. I learned from Kirsty that she is sensible and knows a lot about life already. how important family is. how to blog and tweet. to socialise more.
What legacies will your caree be leaving behind?
Memory books and keepsakes, family histories and stories. Being with nan has made me, me. I will be a better mother thanks to her and like to think I am a better person than I was. You should be happy and loved for who you are not what you have.
“we can’t let the dementia win and send us into hiding we need to embrace and work round it together”