Living alone with dementia…….

This is a blog I’d posted many moons ago. I randomly did a search for one appropriate to repost and this popped up……still very relevant today…..


Someone recently said to me that they felt sorry for people who live alone with dementia…I responded by saying that I live alone. ‘Yes, but you’re Wendy’……….😳 They weren’t being horrible or anything. They just didn’t see that I might have any problems.

So what do I have and what do I do that made them think I’m different from others who live alone with dementia?

I know some people don’t choose to live alone – they have no choice in the matter and to have dementia in tow must present serious challenges. I choose to live alone as I need everything to be where I put it and I don’t want to have the guilt of upsetting others or being disabled by others.

I know I’m lucky. I’m confident, adaptable and don’t fear dementia. So what if others who live alone were given the support and knowledge of how to make things easier to live alone? Or how to make social contacts so they wouldn’t be alone?

Even though I live alone I surround myself with people who believe ‘I can’ and ignore those who concentrate on what I ‘can’t do’. Maybe that’s what we need to give others who live alone – support and help to believe in themselves?

Remember – I’d never tweeted, I’d never blogged, I’d never facebooked, I’d never FaceTimed, I’d never used an ipad before dementia…..
But I had support, encouragement and most of all patience of those around me to give it a go. To learn something new because it would help make things easier. People, especially my daughters, who thought I could do new things and didn’t abandon me to dementia. I hope we all look after one another as they need support as much as I do.

Maybe that’s the difference. I’m able to live alone with dementia in tow because those around me don’t let dementia dominate. I don’t let dementia win. But without people around me having the same attitude and confidence in me, supporting yet not ‘protecting’ me, I too would find it difficult to live alone with dementia

So for all those people out there alone and have no one to encourage them and support them to learn new skills, and adapt, maybe those around them should take a long hard look at themselves and believe in what might be possible.

For many this might not be loved ones, they might not have family around, but healthcare professionals and communities themselves could help more by being positive and directing people to new things and supporting them to adapt. It won’t solve all the problems but at least it’s a start.

I know everyone isn’t as lucky as me. I have 2 amazing daughters who let me get on and encourage me to try new things and find ways to adapt. For others, it might only take 1 person to offer time and patience to show someone less fortunate, but equally capable, something new, something that would make life easier. A single change could make living alone with dementia easier. Maybe they would feel less isolated and abandoned.

We all know we won’t get better but why focus on something over which we have no control? Instead focus on what you can do today to make today easier.

No one should have to cope alone with dementia. It doesn’t always have to be a human that makes you feel good….

I’m sure I used to be able to fit into this box….😻😻🎃

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. 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 sill 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. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

6 thoughts on “Living alone with dementia…….

  1. Wendy, ou are very blessed and lucky to be still functioning at the level you are, this allows you to live alone and do the amazing things that you do. However, for others who are not at the stage you are at, or who decline very rapidly, living alone is not an option due to their own or their caregiver’s safety. I am a retired RN who worked with people in various stages of dementia for over 30 years, I also was diagnosed with MCI 2 1/2 years ago, and live with my husband so I am at a good stage right now, but since I was diagnosed I have seen a friend go from being a very independent, strong, intelligent woman to someone that actually pointed a gun at her own husband and has totally lost touch with reality. She is in a facility now for hers as well as her family’s sake. No amount of tools, support, love and adaptations could have allowed her to live by herself or even with her spouse. My own father went rapidly down hill and died within five years. So, as the saying goes, you’ve seen one dementia patient, you’ve seen one dementia patient. You truly are blessed and I wish you a long time staying at your current wonderful, self sufficient stage. But the majority are not so fortunate.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am happy you have the support you need. You are doing so much good for the dementia community. When my mother was diagnosed decades ago, both my sister and I lived in different from her and my father. He had physical problems, and a caregiver coming in. That connection was helpful when Mother became a wanderer and needed to have more supervision. When he went into a nursing home, she went to assisted living. I think it hastened her decline somewhat, although it was a very good place. I wish you the best for continuing to be able to live independently and carry on your advocacy.

    Liked by 1 person

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