I got on the wrong bus at the weekend – I’ve only just started using local buses as I now have a bus pass (another advantage of having Alzheimer’s – ha!). However, sometimes I get confused by numbers and I think one number is another. Some of our buses don’t stop at every stop. I rang the bell as usual, got up and went to the front of the bus, and it went sailing past my stop. I panicked and rang the bell again and said to the driver that I needed to get off. Little did I know that Mr Jobsworth was on bus driving duties that day. I said I’d got confused with the numbers and would he mind stopping on this occasion. It would have been really simple – I realise they don’t usually stop but there are many bus stops so it wasn’t as if it was dangerous……….
He was downright rude and no way was he going to stop the bus until he got to his destination 2 miles further on. He was even rude when I got off and said I should take more notice next time. ………………..York is aiming to be a ‘Dementia friendly’ community. Most bus drivers are brilliant in York but the driver was obviously off work the day he was suppose to have training. I’m grateful that my mind is still in a state where I can cope with such attitudes and remained standing for the remaining 2 miles, but I was still confused about where we would end up.
At the side of me was a young man in his twenties. He picked up on the situation and could see I was confused and began to talk to me. He asked me if I was okay and not to worry as he’d show me where to get the bus back when we got into town. I told him I had Alzheimer’s and got confused sometimes and we had a laugh and a joke about him and me. Just by talking to me, this young man made me feel calm again.
Am I the only one who believes we should all show kindness and patience to one another whether or not dementia is the cause of confusion? We’re all individuals but let’s just be nice to one another and tolerate each others quirks.
I may have been someone who hadn’t ventured out for weeks. After that experience I may not have ventured out for many more weeks.
There’s a paper out for public consultation at the mo regarding a code of practice for dementia friendly communities. The deadline for comments is November 14th. I realise you’re all busy people but if you’re interested please have a look and send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An quick and easy way to show your support is to send an email to the above address simply stating that you support the code of practice.
All it should really take for businesses and services is good customer care – it should be an automatic response to anyone in difficulty. All those providing a service should be of that disposition and if they’re not they shouldn’t be in that job. I’ve been helped by simple kindness from people of all ages so it’s not age related.
As for it not being a legal obligation for those working with dementia patients to have dementia training, well that’s a whole new conversation and I’ll leave that for a future blog.
Since diagnosis it’s made me realise that not doing anything gets you nowhere. It’s a shame but often the case. I’ll step off my soap box now and think calm thoughts:)