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….