Welcome to the second of my seven ‘mini’ blogs for UK Dementia Awareness Week 2013. They are all themed around talking about dementia, exploring different aspects of conversation from the point of view of people who are living with dementia, carers and families.
Asking questions is natural. Finding the answers is often much harder. Sometimes there isn’t an answer. Sometimes you have to accept that you will never really understand something, which is one of the hardest aspects of living with dementia. Some of the finest advice I was given, and have passed on many times, is to ‘live in the moment’ with dementia – whether you are the person who has developed it or those closest to them.
19 years with my dad’s dementia didn’t answer all of my questions. I found that the questions that represented my deepest raw anger and grief didn’t have a definitive answer, and still don’t. But I was lucky – for all the questions I could articulate, and issues I could explore with family and friends, think of all the questions that my dad must have had that in the end he couldn’t find the words for.
Talking about dementia means letting rip with our questions as often as we need to and, in the case of someone with dementia, whilst they are able to… and when you think you don’t have the answer, remember, you can always just live in the moment.
Next post on 21 May 2013.