Welcome to the sixth 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.
Day 6 – The power of love
So many aspects of living with dementia are highly individual and personal, but one element, vital to all life, that I believe dementia never touches is the need to love and be loved.
Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by love, and when we are at our lowest it can be like life-support for the soul. To me, love is about what you do more than what you say, but that doesn’t mean you never tell someone you love them. Every time I saw my dad I told him I loved him. Sometimes he didn’t react, other times he said it back, smiled or motioned to give me a kiss. Indeed my last words to him were about how much I loved him.
Whenever I have listened to people in the earlier stages of dementia talk about their life, one universal theme has been how much love they have for those who are supporting and caring for them. Brimming with pride, modesty and huge love themselves, they readily recognise, acknowledge and show huge gratitude to those whose love helps them to get through each day.
When dementia advances, and maybe the words dry up, unspoken love takes their place. A look, a squeeze of the hand or a peck on the cheek that says you mean the world to me, thank you for everything.
Next post on 25 May 2013.