Home

Hello and welcome to my blog. On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young onset dementia. I may not have much of a short-term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget.

Me - 59 years young with my wonderful daughters:)
Me – 59 years young with my wonderful daughters:)

I’m 62 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I continued to work full time in the NHS until the end of March 2015, when I chose to take early retirement to enable me to enjoy being me while I’m able. I have never ‘tweeted’, ‘blogged’ or ‘facebooked’ in my life but since I was diagnosed, everything else in my life has changed, so why not this. I hope you find my ramblings of interest.

I started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. Luckily the part of my brain that allows me to type hasn’t broken yet and I find that easier than talking. I have calendars that take care of the future but this blog serves as a reminder of what I’ve done and said in the past – it now serves as my memory. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness.

It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we’ve been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we still have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day-to-day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. Living as well as you can with dementia is all about adapting. Adapting to new ways to enable us to live better for longer with dementia.

I can type as though dementia never entered my world as that part of my brain has not yet been affected, but that often works against me as people question my diagnosis. All I can say is, live a day in my shoes and I’m sure the reality will dawn.

What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

I’m now the proud author of the Sunday Times Best Seller, Somebody I Used to Know, which just goes to show, you should never give up on yourself.

Click on the ‘Blogs’ tab to see what you’ve missed and then click to ‘follow’ me if you’d like to receive my daily blogs in your inbox.

If you prefer to comment by email please feel free – wendy7713@icloud.com or you can find me on Twitter   @WendyPMitchell

Billy, my daughter's cat - a calming influence in my life.
Billy, my daughter’s cat – a calming influence in my life.

 

 

705 thoughts on “Home

    1. Thank you Wendy for a wonderful insight into the foggy world of dementia. I wishthat your book had been available years ago. I was a social worker in an elderly care mental health team in the 1980’s/90’s early days of the research and treatment development into dementia.I recall how frustrated I used to feel when I could not provide any answers or coping strategies for our service users.I was very pleased to read of your insistence of continuing to live alone. In those early days, anyone being diagnosed with dementia was immediately cocooned in the ‘We know best’ scenario of the care system. The sight of those overmedicated and abandoned souls haunts me to this day.Thank you for such an insightful, and at times, very amusing peep into your world.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Read your book last week, Wendy, and really enjoyed learning so much about dementia from the perspective of someone who experiences it first hand. My aunt has has this for some years and I wish we’d known some of your tips before! For example, having a photograph of the contents of a drawer or cupboard pinned on it. We couldn’t understand how she forgot what was in there and kept saying she had no nighties or jumpers. My aunt is now in a specialist care home and so far seems to have settled really well if resigned to it rather than happy. She’s 90.
      Best wishes to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wendy I’m currently 2/3rd through your wonderful book and although it is a hard read it is a very enlightening one and certainly one that I think everyone should read.

    My dad is 73 and although not officially diagnosed yet, he is having issues and reading your book has given me a greater understanding of someone living with this.

    Thank you so much for giving me the gift of understanding my dad and learning to be more patient with him.

    You are an inspiration and wish you a wonderful future

    Like

  2. Hi Wendy, I have just finished reading your story. My Mom is 73 and was diagnosed 18 months ago with vascular dementia and whilst she’s in the early onset, I feel better equipped for what lies ahead, feel I have a better understanding of some of what she’s experiencing and how we might be able to help her, especially the reminders via the iPad! Thank you so much for everything you are doing, raising awareness, changing the words people use, living rather than suffering…you’re a true inspiration!! Kindest regards, Lesley👋

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Wendy.
        I am reading your book right now. Your description of two book shelves of memory (pg.97)is truly wonderful and something I had never fully understood. Thank you for writing the book and helping other people’s struggles with dementia become more bearable.
        It is also lovely to see a smiling picture of you on your twitter feed! . Best wishes. Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wendy,

    What a truly inspirational women.

    My Dad is 71 and only got diagnosed last year with Alzheimer’s and Vascular dementia (although we have been fighting for a diagnosis for almost 10). Being only 23 back then, I’ve never once spoken to my dad about his diagnosis as he was very proud and didn’t want us to know. Currently he doesn’t realise he has dementia.

    Personally, I’ve struggled with depression for years, I think stemming from worrying about how my dad feels etc. Your book is enlightening and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, you’re amazing!
    D x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Wendy, I am reading your book and decided to check this website. I am delighted to see you are doing so well. Best wishes from Kathy in Colorado, USA

    Like

  5. Wendy, I absolutely praise you for writing this book and giving the world an incredible insight and hopefully a better understanding of how people who are living with it really feel. Before we were all just guessing and trying to do “ the right thing” , your work will pave the way for so many people both as careers and people living with dementia/ Alzheimer’s like a beacon of hope & courage .
    Thank you 😇

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Wendy, I am an aged care physiotherapist in Sydney, Australia, and I see clients with dementia daily. Your book has given me so much insight re what it is like to live with dementia, how capable people with dementia can still be when creative adaptive strategies are put in place. Your book has also given me a lot of practical ideas, ones that I can share with my clients and their carers, on how to set up a home and daily routine to maximize functional independence. You should be so proud of yourself for writing that book.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Wendy,

    I read your book in one day on holiday in April, it was both moving and insightful. As someone who likes to be helpful, it’s shown me, yet again, that doing tasks for others is often disempowering for anyone. I try to remember that learning when I’m tempted to jump in and do things for others or at least wait to be asked!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have finally finished reading you book,amazing work you have done and I have marked areas in the book that may help people, especially my sister who has been diagnosed last 18 months . I find it unreal that you can also use the iPod etc to help you .So much insight , thank you and you still get around. You are so talented ..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Wendy I just want to say thank you for being so open and honest with what it is like living with dementia on a daily basis knowing that no 2 days are the same.

    My Nan who sadly passed away last year was suffering with dementia and she went down hill very fast she was only diagnosed with early onset dementia 1 year b4 she passed away. I do feel that the staff at the special care facilities could do with more training as my Nan was at the stage where she forgot to always chew her food. Which the carers were obviously aware of as they informed my dad and my aunt of this. Anyway she actually passed away through choking on her food which if a carer had been in the room which to me they should have then may be she possibly would still of been here.

    She had a good life and although she passed away via choking I don’t mean what I’m about to say sound cruel or unsympathetic. But in a way when she passed away it was a blessing in disguise as she didn’t know who anyone was and it was hard to see her suffering this way. She was 98 when she passed away so as I said she had a good life and she had so many people that loved her.

    I just wish I had known or seen a blog from someone that was living with dementia so I could of been more educated on it.

    Anyway I am also replying to this as my mother’s partner was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the beginning of May and I went down to my mothers for 2 week’s just for a break from where I live. Anyway whilst I was there I noticed a big change in my mother’s partner since I was down there for Xmas and it shocked me at how much he has changed and how easily he can lose his temper or as u have said about forgetting what day or what time it is. There was one day we were sat there and I was getting my shoes on to get ready to go out and he looked at the clock on the wall and both me and my mum both thought he was just seeing what time it was. He then turned around to my mum and asked her what day it was as the thing on the wall isn’t saying what day it is. So as I said I have seen the change in him since I was down there at Xmas.

    Anyway after reading some of your blog I now have a better understanding of what you, my mum’s partner and what so many other people are going thru. But not only do I see what people with dementia go through but now I understand what the families go through as well.

    So I would like to say thank you for being so open and honest.

    Thank you so much to you and your family for sharing your story it’s refreshing to see.

    Like

  10. I just want to thank you for making so many things clear to me. I read your article on the Guardian website. My grandmother (many years ago) died with Alzheimer’s, which wasn’t really recognised then. My mother died in 2010 and now my dear mother in law has vascular dementia. It is such a revelation to understand something of what they went/are going through. I am going to buy your book to be able to try and guide my husband’s family through what is an alien existance to them. I really take my hat off to you for doing this, thank you so very much! With many hugs to you and your daughters, from Christina.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Wendy,
    Just finished reading your book.
    My father has dementia.
    Our lives just got a little bit easier thanks to your guidance.
    Thank you so much!!
    Yours Julia.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Wendy. To my delight I read in the Saturday telegraph there’s now a chance local authorities will allow people with dementia/anxiety (ie hidden disabilities) to get a blue badge. I’m sure your efforts and others must have prevailed. Hurrah.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Wendy I saw you speak at Bath Festival and thought you were inspirational in how you have tackled your diagnosis and generous in sharing the way you have tackled it. Your book will help so many people. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello Wendy. When I selected your book to read I wasn’t entirely sure why I’d chosen it, yet how thankful I am that I did! Your book joined me on a recent holiday and on reading it what an incredible range of emotions, superb insights and a better understanding of dementia – from both sides – have I now experienced. On a daily basis I recounted some of your challenges and situations to my husband and extolled the virtues of your incredible will and determination to ‘adapt’ to a different way of living.

    Two of my husband’s uncles live and lived with dementia and due to lack of education, understanding and knowledge of those who were in a better place to help, were they thrown on the ‘scrap heap’.

    You are a truly amazing, strong, intelligent and inspirational lady with a resourcefulness that has blown me away along with all you have done and continue to do to improve so many peoples understanding of dementia – a wonderful legacy.

    Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Wendy!
    I just read your book Somebody I used to know (Hon som var jag in swedish)
    I like the book. I am a assistant nurse and work with people how have demens. Your book are tell how it is for a person with the diagnose. And it was very good to here you tell how it is. I am not so good in english but I hope you understand what I writing.
    Kind regards Rose-Marie

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wendy what a brave, positive and inspirational woman you are. My Father had Alzheimer s and Vascular Dementia and his final days have always haunted me. We felt so helpless, your book has reminded us of the humour, courage and resourfulness that we had to find in the early days that I had forgotten. Your book has been a balm to the soul and helped me come some way to accepting his passing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. How i wish i had read your book before my parents were caught in the cruel world of dementia. My father when he was 70 and my mum when she was 87. How much more better i would have been able to help them. Thankyou for the insight Wendy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Wendy, you are an inspiration. Thank you so much for writing this book. It is so powerful to read the perspective of someone with this disease, rather than reading an account from a caregiver or medical professional’s point of view. You have given me many ideas for how to work with my mom who has dementia, and insights into how she might be feeling or why things affect her the way they do (she also has balance problems and finds things to be much noisier now). I am recommending your book to everyone I know!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Wendy, I am reading your book this week and my lovely mum has very recently been diagnosed with dementia (aged 75). Like you she is a very capable, intelligent, independent woman, who is having to adapt very fast – we all are. She is adapting better and coping well, but my brother and I have a lot to learn and understand. To read about your experiences is helping me so much, to get inside my mum’s head, to empathise with her frustration, worries, shame and fear, as well as helping me to work out a practical approach to help her to continue to live independently. She has at last accepted her diagnosis, but we are at the ‘what now?’ stage. Thank you for helping me to make sense of it and congrats on a super book.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’M HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE MAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 3 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO MY COUNTRY, MY BOYFRIEND(NOW HUSBAND) CALLED ME BY HIMSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING FOR EVERYTHING HIM AND HIS MOTHER HAS DONE TO ME..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR SOME VITAL INFORMATION WHICH I FORWARDED TO HIM…I AM HAPPY TO SAY WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED, IN CASE ANYONE NEED SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS___________________________ ROBINSONBUCKLER@ HOTMAIL. COM…… HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT,.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you very much for your book. My mother and grandmother lived years with dementia so I know parts about it, but from you I have learned much more from the inside. One small question though: I read you prefer respect to compassion, but are they necessarily opposites? Can´t there be a respectful compassion? (I have read the book in Swedish so maybe other words are used in the original)

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Wendy,

    I’ve just finished reading your book and I just wanted to say thank you. It was absolutely beautifully written and so insightful. As a young GP I really feel that your book has helped me to better myself personally and professionally and for that I am very grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I have just finished your wonderful book. I am so impressed with how you cope with all that travelling and lecturing, knowing how difficult life can be with dementia. You are an inspiration, not only to others in the same situation, but to those who find life challenging in other ways. Keep up the good work and remain strong.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.