I kept a journal about my dad's journey into dementia to reinforce my memory of what transpired and when. I wanted to keep his physician apprised of his condition, as well as various members of my family. pturalun.tk: Dance with Dementia: A daughters memoir about her father. () by Judi Forney and a great selection of similar New, Used and.
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Muireann Irish. Brought to you by Curio , an Aeon partner. Edited by Christian Jarrett. Many people see memory as providing the foundation upon which a stable sense of self is constructed. Our autobiographical memory, in particular, seems crucial to weaving a life story that bridges past and present, and permits us to extrapolate how the future might unfold, all within a meaningful and coherent narrative.
So what happens when the tapestry of memory begins to fray, and we lose access to defining memories from the past? Over time, however, these changes become more pronounced, with the individual forgetting significant recent experiences and events. Viewing dementia in this way, as an erosion of the self, might serve a protective function, enabling carers to detach from the confronting reality of dementia, with metaphors of bereavement commonly used in relation to the anticipatory grief experienced by carers.
Of course, people with dementia experience significant changes in their self-concept, self-knowledge, social relationships, perception of their own capacity, and even their physical appearance. Yet the essence of the person endures. Recognising this has important implications for approaches to care. Like any progressive disease, dementia is a continuum, she tells once-friendly neighbours who cross the street to avoid her; it is also fitful — there are bad days, and good ones.
And there is still a person in there, forgetful, yes, confused, often, but just as in need of validation and love and conversation and laughter as anyone else. She attacks the fear — which is of nightmares made real: words going missing in public meetings, being invisible. Whole familiar cities made alien.
Sounds like gunshots ripping through her head. She arms herself with practical ingenuities: dementia bingo; iPads pinging to remind her to take pills, to eat. A bright pink bike, not because she especially likes pink, but because it would be harder to forget.
Novels become impossible to read, so she reaches for short stories and poems. What happened to all the time I thought I had? Pre-dementia Wendy? Today Wendy, who is different from tomorrow Wendy?
It is striking how much of self, she discovers, is located in language. Speaking becomes difficult, but she can still write as fast as ever, WhatsApping, blogging, emailing, until one day that stutters too.
I was lost inside. Screaming to get out. It was terrifying.
Talk, then. Talk as much as possible, while it is still possible.
Talk to loved ones, explain what needs to happen, about care, about resuscitation, about death. Make choices now to make theirs, already hard, a little easier later.
Brave the mutual dance of fear and reassurance. But what she can least bear is losing the future she thought she and her daughters had together. And so she redoubles her efforts, writing herself notes and instructions that collect in drifts on the floor, on her cupboards, on her walls, fragments shored against the coming ruin. Play Video. Topics Health, mind and body books Book of the day.