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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.

And now in 2022, I’ve released my second book, (who would have thought I’d say ‘first’ never mind ‘second’ 😳) “What I wish people knew about dementia..“ also written with my partner in writing, Anna Wharton.

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.

And my latest best seller ”What I wish people knew about dementia has also become a Sunday Times Best Seller……two honorary doctorates and two Sunday Times best sellers all since being diagnosed with dementia….just shows hpw you should never give up on yourself no matter what life throws at you ….

1,086 thoughts on “Home

    1. Wendy I am just 1 yr older but last week when I read your story in the magazine, I removed it & I carry with me so that I don’t forget that there are people out there like you who have a diagnosis of early onset dementia/alzheimers and you keep the drive that you had when you worked in the NHS as a co-ordinator and apply same to dementia; that same gusto to prove that you can live a life, independently with some help from other people who are truly willing to give.

      my book https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1912639610/ Why I admire your impetus bc u can improve memory with work and live life albeit as a tortoise not the hare.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have just finished you book,
    Your courage, drive and deteminedness is aur inspiring..
    As a professional who often works with people with dementia your book has given me so many tips guidance and confidence to support people to live well with dementia.. THANK YOU!!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have just read your book. I am a retired GP and know/have known people with dementia.
    For me you book is very moving and very important and full of very important insights for those of us still ‘normal‘.
    Thank you very much and all the best for each coming day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Wendy, I was recommended your book by my psychiatric nurse. I was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s yesterday and already – after just a few pages -I can see that we are definitely on the same page. I am looking forward to reading the rest of your book and will follow your news on your blog. I have always had memory problems and so for many years I have kept a diary as well as taken photos every day. One of my simple delights of my life.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m 81 years old have just read your book. So far I am lucky to have good health but the way you have dealt with living your life has made me believe that if I ever have to live with dementia I will try to follow your example .Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Wendy, my father has stage 5 alzeimers so just finished reading your book. You truly are a magnificent lady. Your determination to push through and battle this disease is overwhelming. People living with dementia are truly incredible and amazing people.
    Thank you so very much for writing your own experiences so others can have a better understanding to enable them to help others as well as themselves. Every best wish is sent to you and your daughters, Sarah and Gemma.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I saw your post pop up from my Facebook memories this morning. You are truly an inspirational lady. Thank you for sharing your story, you will have given so many people hope. X

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Wendy
    Your book was nominated in our Bookclub for this month (we’re all ‘seniors’😅). I have just finished it and am in total awe of your courage, determination and positivity. You’ve achieved so much and all the while living independently! Thank you for sharing what it’s like to live with dementia – especially the sudden episodes of confusion and panic that can drop in unannounced. Every family is touched by dementia. Your book educates us all and builds a bridge we can cross to understand how the other feels. It should be mandatory reading for every health professional. Congratulations Wendy for this invaluable legacy. Best wishes, Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Wendy
    I work as a H.C.A in a hospital with patients who are living with Dementia your book has helped me understand what they are going through so I can care for them and their needs.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Wendy I have just read your book, inspiring! My sister is in a nursing home at the moment and is being assessed by the memory clinic, she has short term memory and many things you have mentioned in your book, we are awaiting diagnosis, your book has helped me understand and is preparing me to better understand dementia Thankyou Christina .

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thank you for your wonderful book. My Dad is suffering with Lewy Body Dementia and was diagnosed in 2016. Your insights into what it feels like from inside has really helped me to understand and rethink some of my approaches to relating to him. Good luck in your own journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hello Wendy, Thank you so much for your courage and perseverance in the face of such extraordinary difficulty, resulting in your amazing book. My father and his only brother both have dementia, and you have helped me to understand something of what they might experience and feel. I am so grateful. Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have finished your book, shared with me by my neighbour/friend. It was very insightful and I love that you have touched on many matters with great sensitivity without brushing them off. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hei Wendy. Luin kirjasi, juuri tänään. Kiitos, että olet kirjoittanut sen. Se rohkaisi minua. Huomenna menen labraan ja viikon kuluttua menen mangneettikuvaukseen. En pelkää. Sain rohkeutta kirjastasi.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Wendy

    I am a student social worker, as part of an assignment we were asked to read one of six books. I chose yours! I am so pleased I did. Thank you for such a brilliant and informative book, as I was reading I felt like I was walking in your footsteps. You have helped my understanding of dementia in such personal ways speaking of your experiences. I will not only use this knowledge to better myself as a future social worker but also in my every day life! Thank you for such a beautiful book. Billy is very cute.
    Gemma

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi Wendy!

    Thank you for sharing your remarkable ability to experience and handle the present moment with all the fear and difficulties you struggle with in your daily life with dementia. I love your book and admire your work. You are such a brave woman. You inspire people and give us all hope. Your story shows us that it is possible to live a life worth living with a much feared and progressive disease. At the same time you share moments of fear and sorrow and dare to question when this is no longer true for you.

    I am a mom and psychologist in Sweden and I am so glad that I found your book when I finally got the time to read one. I have just finished your book and I can hear my kids playing with my mother in the kitchen. A moment I treasure.

    I will definitively recommend your book to my patients and network and I will keep your words in mind when I write or talk about the blessing of the present moment. I hope you can read my rosty english (this took my for ever to write).

    Thank you Wendy for letting us all in! All my love to you and your daughters.

    Mia

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Dear Wendy – such an amazing story and so very brave! You are truly inspirational! My Dad had vascular dementia and it came about quickly but I see from reading this that perhaps we failed him in so many ways and I feel quite ashamed. However we did not have someone like you to act as such a shining light. I will be much more aware of others going forward. Much love to you and your beautiful daughters x

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Kia Ora, Wendy, from New Zealand. I am listening to your audiobook during my afternoon walks. I had to laugh as you described having formerly been afraid of dogs – listening as I walked behind my own hound, who could quite easily frighten a fearful child with her loud bark. My mother in America has dementia much further along than yours, and lives very much in the moment. I really appreciate your wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dear Wendy, I just finished your book “someone I knew” and I was very touched by your story. I hope you have a good day today and wish you some more years with bright moments, together with your lovely daughthers Sarah and Gemma, Stuart and ofcourse Billy 😉
    With kind regards,
    Rita van Dijk-Hemmelder
    Zeewolde, the Netherlands

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Wendy, you are truly inspirational. What a generous idea to write your story for the world to better understand dementia. I am passing your book onto my nurse friend who works in a dementia home. I think your book should be a text for all student nurses.
    My husband sustained a brain injury 6 years ago in a traffic accident. So many of the symptoms you write about are exactly what he struggled with for about 4 years ( sensitivity to noise & crowds, inattention, inability to concentrate, the list goes on )
    Well done challenging yourself too. I’m sure that will delay this disease for many years.
    Hugs to you, Sarah and Gemma. Xxx

    Like

  20. Just finished the book, wow so enlightening. I lost my mum to dementia this year , I wish I had read the book whilst she was alive, it would have helped me to understand what she was going through. I cried, I fill guilty that I didn’t understand. I won’t to say sorry mum but it’s to late.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you mustnt feel guilty. You did your best with the knowledge you had and now with different knowledge you can help even more people. I’m sure youre mum is still with you in spirit. 🤗xx

      Like

  21. Dear Wendy, I just finished reading your book and want to say how it has helped me understand what dementia is like for the person living with it. My 91yo mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about three years ago, and came to live with me shortly after the pandemic began, about 17 months ago now. She had been in an independent living facility but I only realized how far her dementia had progressed when she could not understand or retain my explanations why life had changed so drastically for her and her co-residents. Subsequently, I have seen the disease gradually take more from her. I have sought help from our Alzheimer’s Society, and they have been marvelous. But I hadn’t come across a personal story like yours. It opened my eyes to some of what my mom has probably been experiencing, but hasn’t been able to express. I hope that I can find more patience and even some grace as she and I continue our dementia journey together. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Wendy, I just want to say Thank You before the year is out – thank you for doing what you do, being who you are, sharing your life. I read your first book several months ago, then found your blog. I’m so looking forward to reading your new book! Every important thing I know about dementia – particularly early-onset – I learned from you. And your various “playmates” of course! So keep on keeping on in whatever way you can in the new year and beyond. The trundles, the pictures, the insights – it’s all brilliant. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. My husband was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s and early stage Huntington’s disease. He is aware of what is going on some of the time but he refuses to bathe or do any of the things the doctors tell him. He could hardly get around because all he does is sit in front of the TV all day. He refuses to go for a walk or to a senior center and he refuses to bathe. I was beside myself as we cannot go anywhere when he is dirty and stinks. I didn’t know what to do, I could not physically overpower him and make him do things and when I ask him he tells me I am not his boss. There has been little if any progress in finding a reliable treatment. His Primary care provider introduced me to Kycuyu Health Clinic and their amazing Herbal treatments. The treatment is a miracle. the disease is totally under control. No case of delusion, disorientation, forgetfulness, making things up, hallucination, Muscle weakness, jumbled speech, loss of appetite or confusion in the evening hours

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Wendy
    I’m a GP in England and my Mum had dementia. Falls at night were a large contributory factor to her deterioration. Accidental falls are 10x more common in those with dementia. I have invented a bedside device to prevent these night-time falls. Would love to chat with you to seek your thoughts/advice if you could find a few minutes if you could let me know via email? Thanks Tom

    Liked by 1 person

  25. HI Wendy I have just finished reading your book you are a remarkable person, my sister-inlaw has dementia she dosn’t know who I am I went to see her the other day she hugged me said she loved me and then said who are you I haven’t seen you before the saddest thing she cant remember her husband which is my brother but reading your book has helped me a lot will be getting your second.
    i

    Liked by 2 people

  26. My flatmate has been diagnosed with early dementia. He is 61. Until now..it was always ‘about ME’…how it was impacting ‘MY’ life….how it was so frustrating…irritating..to live with his forgetfulness. Today I downloaded your book on Audio. I both laughed and cried. It made me realize how selfish I was. Now I am changed and your sharing of your journey is helping me put aside my own frustrations…and instead looking at ways I can encourage and support my friend on this new chapter in his life. I have shared your book with his family also. Thank you for opening my eyes and making me more compassionate and understanding of his transition. You are so wonderfully funny and serious in the same breath and have much still to teach us.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I just finished reading your first book, and I’m still speechless. This book made me look completely different on the little things of life. I work as a nurse in a hospital, and we have many patients with dementia at the moment. One told me a few days ago about her husband, who died years ago. But she told me about him, like he was right next to us. You made me understand dementia more. And I’m so thankful for that. The next time I visit my grandmother with dementia, I will look different, understanding at her. Thank you so much, Wendy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Hi, I am an audiologist running a domiciliary hearing care covering hearing tests and hearing aids for the elderly and seniors in South London UK (www.hearingnow.co.uk). I often come across a couple of patients with dementia every month or so when I visit them for ear wax removal or hearing test or adjusting their hearing aids. Just wanted to remind everyone in the elderly care services that there is a bold line between hearing loss and dementia. Please make sure that you encourage your elderly parents or relatives to take a hearing test. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Hello Mrs Wendy, I have just finished your book, It is so good, so sad, but helped me a lot to dive into my mum brain who got Alzheimer’s 6 years ago, she wasn’t a person who can express herself, all those feelings were anger, frustration, depression and anxiety. Our community need more understanding to better assist our beloved ones.
    Thanks so much

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi Wendy, I just finished reading your first book. It is wonderful! I am 62 & my mother had early onset dementia at about 60. Your insights are truly inspiring. I’m looking forward to reading your next book. Thank you for your writing, your care and education of others. I wish you well. Chris

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi Wendy –

    I just finished reading (well listening on Audible) to your first book “Somebody I Used to Know.” I can not stop talking about your book to everyone I know.

    You incredibly allowed us to enter your world and in doing so helped us understand what each of us can do to help others living with dementia.

    I’ve learned from your book that it doesn’t take much to make a difference and this is the message I am trying to convey to as many people as I can.

    I’m looking forward to reading/listening to your new book when it becomes available here in Israel.

    With much appreciation for the work you do,
    Oran

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Just finished your wonderful book ‘somebody I used to know’. Its brilliant – I feel so full of emotion. I so much wish I had read it before as it might have helped a little with my Mum who is ravaged by Dementia. Well done and thank you for your courage. You are such a wonderful role model. Love James

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi Wendy, I have thought about sending you this message for a while now. I currently work in the NHS in a very large trust with multiple hospitals and thousands of staff. In my role as part of the dementia team we are attempting to train all members of staff on how to deliver person centred, caring and kind support to every patient that steps foot in our hospital ,who is living or has a yet to be diagnosed with a dementia. When we give a talk or present some training I reference the insights that you share In your books. I just wanted you to know that because of the experiences you have shared you have made a difference to the care given to thousands of patients every year and I don’t think many people can claim to have had such an impact on others. You are a true hero . Thankyou

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Someone I used to know: Life changing and beautifully ‘told’. Thank you for sharing your story and for helping me to appreciate more about the journey of dementia and those living with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Just finished your book. Absolutely heartwarming and reassuring
    Lost my dad to dementia a few years ago and you have helped me understand more of what he was seeing / feeling and believing
    You are an inspiration and I wish you well with the rest of your journey

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I’m looking to follow because I have read both books and bought them for my parents. Both of which are Very informative. My mother is awaiting an appointment at the memory clinic (2months after brain scan) to get results . I’m desperate to know how to help and considerate to her needs but don’t want her to feel I’m neglecting or abandoning her at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. I found your book after both my mother and mother in law were diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s respectively over the last 12 months. The way you convey daily struggles and coping mechanisms has been hugely insightful and helpful to me in understanding how our families can support them both in leading independent lives. Thank you and best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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