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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.

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.

 

 

969 thoughts on “Home

  1. My beautiful husband who I love so very much is slipping away from me little by little. Your book has made me determined not to do everything for him, neither to finish his sentences but rather to find familiar things to help him to find his way back . I understand a little better now. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wendy, I have just finished your book and wanted to pass on how brilliant it was. I admire your courage and determination to document your experiences so we can all learn from them. I feel like I know so much more now about dementia and will have a much better understanding around relatives/friends that have the condition. Love and best wishes to you Natalie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Wendy! I just finished your book as well. You are one tenacious gal! Your story has heartbreaking moments but also hopeful ones….ones that I found interesting both personally (my Mom is in long term care with dementia) and professionally. I am an occupational therapist with a goal of improving people’s’ safety, independence and function and modifying their environments to enhance their lives in all areas. You came up with several simple, practical ways to maintain your safety and independence. I do have a question… as you started to lose your spoken word, did your understanding of language also change?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My spoken word is still there just differently…much slower, everything is slowe so my understanding of language is still as it was just takes longer to process so important to give us time….🤗x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wendy- I work in a care facility caring for people with Dementia. As a chaplain . Often I cannot understand what thru are saying and they get frustrated. What can I do to help them in their frustration?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe use pictures, maybe just listen and don’t try and understand. Sometimes just to be listened to is enough. Can they still write? Some people can type or write and yet have trouble speaking. Keep doing what you’re doing because the worse thing is to have no one there at all.🤗xx

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  4. Just finished your incredible book. My Dad lived with dementia for many years, each day brought something new -sometimes wonderful, sometimes heartwrenching. Your insight would have been so helpful but now I can direct others to it. Thankyou for sharing you living your life .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wendy. Your book was recommended, although I have not been able to read it yet. I to worked in health and was happiest as a CNS in a dementia unit. From what I have read so far, yours is a refreshing tale. Sending you loads of sparkle. Annie. Central Coast. NSW Australia

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Wendy,

    I have just read your book – or even listened to the audio version of it at Audible. It had me in tears, laughs and everything in between.

    You are an incredibly strong and wise woman! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your stories and inviting us (the readers) to look at the world from a different perspective.

    Many many thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Wendy… I have just finished your book.. what an amazing book with such insights .. loved it and also the details of some of your trips having been on holiday from New Zealand to see my daughter … I have also been to some of the places … continue to take care ..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Wendy, I just finished your brilliant book (the Finnish translation) and really enjoyed it. You have found incredible ways to help your everyday life and I’m sure it’s helping others as well. Your book also reminded me personally to find time for things that I enjoy right now, at 38 years old, as who knows what might happen in the future. Thank you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello Wendy.. wow!… your story is a legacy of your courage and tenacity, providing so much understanding into dementia life tips and care. Thankyou for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I too have just finished your book Wendy! & feel you are a friend now = it has been good to get to know you! It would be good to keep up with you – “Pen pal like”Any of us could get the disease – like we could ( i have had) cancer etc.I am blessed to be 77 now, thus any thing thrown @ me – i seem to be like YOU= cup half full! God bless you , does your faith help?It does for me! I ramble on – sorry. Cheerio from Moira.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I’m not sure really as I see my page but there is a search icon (little magnifying glass) and I typed in Jan 2019 and it came up with Jan’s blogs…I’m not very technical I’m afraid – sorry…🙄

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      1. Wendy I just finished reading your book too and it left me thinking you were a technical genius and so ashamed that i had felt scared to go on the internet before i found the blog.You are an inspiration thank you for your courage and determination

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Wendy I am a student studying dementia and how it impacts on those living with dementia. I am going to buy your book. You are an inspiration. Instead of giving up you decided to take dementia head on and share your experienceswith the world. Thats not only being brave, but shows a level of generosity and maturity in you. It shows that you are strong and have embraced the the idea that disability does not mean disability. You are setting a trend for those of us learning and having to work with and support those living with dementia. Thank you. I will definitely have to find your blogg.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello Wendy, I’ve just finished reading your book and I would like to say you are one amazing lady. I have been caring for my mother for the last few years, she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but is totally unaware she has a problem. I recognise lots of what you say in mum and more besides, your book has helped me to clarify my understanding and queries of the disease. Thank you and best wishes x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Wendy and followers, I work in Australia in services providing support to people with diagnosis of Dementia. We have to wear face masks at the moment and it is causing some of our cliebts great stress🙁.We’ve looked at transparent masks and wearing large photos on our chests without much joy. Any other ideas will be gratefully recieved:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so difficult at the moment for all of us Steve…..I saw someone wearing one of the plastic medical face coverings so all their face was viewable which seems preferable. Masks show how much we rely on seeing the human mouth to interpret what people are saying and the masks sadly take away so much plus make it hard to hear…..

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  13. Hi Wendy, I read your book in 2019. This year, my sister was diagnosed with early onset at 57. Your lens has helped me to connect with the impact of this disease. I have gained great strength from you to be able to support her and all our family. Go well x

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Wendy, I’ve read your book and am impressed by your courage and generosity to share your precious experience and wise advices. My father has had dementia for many years and I’ve learnt a lot from your book. Thanks for sharing! What do you think about art therapy for dementia? Take care. Love, Jessie x

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Like so many others, I have just finished your book and want to let you know how in awe of you I am. My mother had dementia for several years; I think it was present before we knew it and we were all in denial. We didn’t know how to deal with it and unfortunately, the medical community did not seem to know either. I wish I understood then the insight that your book has given me. You have given a gift to many who are searching for guidance and understanding of this disease. Thank you for your honesty and courage and bless your daughters as they stand with you (-:

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Wendy, How are you doing today? Hope that the fog isn’t too bad. I’ve just finished your brilliant book. I really appreciate the knowledge i’ve gained from. reading it and will use it to help with my mother who was diagnosed last January. She is 70 so not early onset but we had clues for a while as her’s definitely seems to affect her language the most. As you say giving the person the time to process the information really helps. Luckily she is still a killer tennis player and an excellent driver. All dementia is different isn’t it. Anyway, i’ll be recommending your book widely xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dear Wendy – I’ve nearly finished your book and have learned so much through it, especially as a doctor. How can we be supporting our patients/friends/family with dementia through the pandemic, especially in further lockdowns? I’m painfully aware that lockdown has meant many dementia sufferers losing themselves more than usual…Grateful for any thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would try and read through my blogs since lockdown as lots have been in that very subject. It’s been and still is so difficult. Our routines have been shot to pieces and it’s routine we thrive on. So helping us through finding a new routine is certainly a start. 🙏🤗x

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      1. Thank you so much! I will have a further read sometime…And if you are still giving any talks via zoom/the like to e.g. gp surgeries, please email me as I think you have so much to teach people! Thank you

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Just finished your book ( finnish translation).
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and wise views!
    If you don’t use the muscles, you lose them. The same with the brain!
    I’m 53, my mother is 84- with Alzheimer’s, living in Full time Care Unit ( in Finland).
    Because of coronavirus, we can’ t meet face to face without masks. She doesn’t use technology. I don’t know, whether she’ ll remember me, if this coronatime lasts for long. It’s summer, and going out is limited.
    There would be so much that could be done to make Alzheimer patiets’ life in health care units better! But many family members who see the situation, may lack the strength to fight. They have their jobs and children, maybe health issues of their own as well.
    Again: thank you for your very significant work to help us all understand Alzheimer’s disease, and especially the early phases of it!
    My mother got the diagnosis only after my father died. It became obvious that practical things in that household had been taken care of by my father for several years. He was stressed but didn’t want to admit it. Maybe he was ashamed of the situation. I did see what was going on, but I didn’t do enough to help, and I let it be, when he said they don’t need anything. Now it’s too late.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very kind of you to write Ulla, and thank you for your kind words. It’s never too late to help others though and your mum and dad would be proud of you for doing that.🙏🤗

      Like

  19. I just finished reading your book and it was so great to read. I lost my nana in May this year to dementia and so years were shed and laughs were had thinking about moments with her while reading it. You are a very inspiring woman!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. As so many else I’ve read your book Wendy (the swedish version). As so many others me too have a relative (my dear grandma) that has alzheimers disease. I went here to your blog as soon as I finished the book, and also to your twitter account. A part of me said not to comment, cause what can i say to you that havn’t already been said? I see that you get a lots of thanks and gratitude for your wonderful book, and for being you. But then I stopped myself and thought, “well I want to spread as much positivy as Wendy in my life, and you can never get too much love”, so here it goes: Your book is wonderful. It felt as I got to know you. I know that I will look at my grandmother so much more with respect and the thing that got most to me was: it doesn’t care if she remember what we talked about today, or last time, it’s the feeling that counts. I’m gonna make her happy and feel loved today, because that’s what matters. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, you’re a true inspiration! Love, Alexandra 32 year old from Sweden

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Dear Wendy,
    I have just finished reading your book (Japanese translation).
    Your book helped me a lot to understand what my father in law with the same decease tell us and to imagine how the world look like to him.
    Thank you for your activities which are tremendous contribution to human and making this world better.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I long for our “singing for the brain’ group gets going again in this difficult time,
    We need to Sing/Dance & rejoice In one voice!
    Keep us bonded in your blog Wendy
    from Moira
    x

    Liked by 1 person

  23. My Mum is in advanced stages of mixed dementia and my sister Kent me your book to help me understand what her life is now like. I feel now that after reading your wonderful and brave account If you journey that I too now understand more about how my mum now sees her world. Thank you Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Wendy, I found your book by chance in a little antique book store in Western Australia. With a background in community care and as a current RN I have always had a passion for not only caring for those with dementia but spending time with them in the now. Your book was incredibly insightful, emotional, educational and inspiring. I feel so privelleged to have got to know, if only a snippet, of you and the life you have lived and continue to live with such determination. Thank you so much for a truly touching read!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wendy … your book and your courage are amazing. I sent a copy to my Mom who is 87. Her sister is in a care facility for dementia/alt and I thought it would help her better understand her. She said it was very helpful! I went thru this caring for her Father (my Grandfather) for almost 2 yrs. My Mom does not read much and finished your book in three days. Very valuable to help ppl understand. You are so brave. Wish u and your family the very best .. you are actually in my prayers.

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  26. Thank you for sharing this , my mom has dementia and it is extremely rough for all of us. I try to find some moments of happiness for both of us, especially her. I just read this article, https://www.ez.insure/landing/2020/12/art-and-dementia/ that talks about art helping people with dementia. The facts are really interesting, so I have been trying to create more art and crafts with her, as well as encourage her to create more when she can. I actually have one of her paintings hung up in my house, and it is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Wendy, My dad and both brothers ( one who also had learning difficulties ) all had dementia and I wish I had read your book at that time. However. my lovely husband and I have talked about what you have written ( I couldn’t put the book down ) and I feel less afraid now for the future should either of us be diagnosed. You don’t make light of it but give sound principles for survival and even moments of joy. Thank you so much x

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I have just read your book, given me by a friend at Christmas. It was truly amazing. Thank you Wendy. I felt stronger and more informed. My husband has just been diagnosed with cognitive impairment and I feel I know a little more about the disease now. Its very hard both for the patient and for the carer. My question is on medication. Does this stabilise the disease, help prevent further deterioration, or is it mostly up to the individual to exercise their brain more?. Its difficult with all these lockdowns to have social contact and he’s lost confidence in talking to others. Crosswords, sudoku, and word games all seem to agitate and cause frustration. Any advice please? Thank you again for sharing and writing your story so honestly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So kind of you thank you. Medication, if appropriate as it’s not for all, simply slows down the disease. It certainly doesn’t help prevent further deterioration. ‘Doing’ is the most important thing. There’s nothing more comforting with dementia than sitting doing nothing with no stimulation but that’s dementia cruel way of giving you a false sense of security. Keeping your mind active no matter doing what is so important to fight off the worse days. However something all you can do is sit and close your eyes, it’s just a balancing act not to do it for too long. I find crosswords and Sudoku confusing now too. It’s finding something that will just spark some interest for your husband. I play solitary games so no one can criticise my stupidness, not that they probably would but it makes me feel better. Hugs to you both.xx

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  29. Dear Wendy, I just finished your book. It is really great! I was smiling and crying while reading. I am a nurse and it gave me so much knowledge and let me understand my patients much more. Thank you so much, take care❤
    Best regards from Poland
    Kasia

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Dear Wendy,
    Your book gave so much hope. I helped out in a care home during the first lockdown. I learnt so much , going for walks with lovely ladies who were living with Dementia. We would stop and examine a flower, or leaf for ages and now I find I do it myself. I went there to help, and came away having recieved so much love and wisdom. We all need to slow down, and be kinder and more receptive to each other. You have given so much to the world in terms of breaking down barriers, you are an angel, Thank you,
    Love, Brid.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Dear Wendy
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. My Mum was diagnosed with mixed dimenture last October, and the insight you provide has helped me to understand what it might be like for her, and strategies which might assist her maintain her independence. It is so nice to see you are still blogging. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I just ended reading your book (the Finnish translation) and it gave me hope as one of my relatives has been diagnosed with an early onset AD a few years ago. I also enjoyed looking at the photos of your beautiful countryside and gardens. Hope I some day have the possibility to travel to see Yorkshire and the Lake Area.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Dear Wendy. You are such a brave and honest person. My sister passed your book onto me. Our mum who was a nurse in A&E …working till she was 68…refused to submit to her Alzheimer’s. An amazing woman…her journey became our journey too. I became closer to my mum as the communication became more instinctive. Thank you for sharing your story it has been helpful in understanding my mum’s journey XXX she lived at home right till the end at the grand age of 84. And had many moments of lucidity even at the end xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Dear Wendy. What a wonderfully helpful book for everybody whose life is affected by the disease: carers, families, doctors and nurses, and mostly of course those living with it. The book should be a compulsory part of the school curriculum. Bless you and thank you for sharing. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Dear Which Me Am I Today,
    I write on behalf of my remarkable sister Catherine (Verner) – who lives on the west coast of Scotland, UK.
    For the past 10 years, she has been a care giver at home to our dear mother who suffered from combined Alzheimer’s Disease / Vascular Dementia, until she passed away peacefully in October 2020.
    Catherine was also awarded a Master’s degree in Dementia Studies from Stirling University, and retains contact with the University’s center of dementia research.
    Today, her passion is to reach out and help other family caregivers in a situation that she found herself in many years ago (primarily via her website).
    The website, is a combination of free resources plus a growing series of informative and practical books for sale, all aimed at supporting families living at home in the community.
    It can be viewed here.

    https://clickdementia.com/

    Catherine writes regular Newsletters, which are informative and in-depth, topical and insightful, and I was wondering if she could become a free contributor on your informative and touching website.
    I believe her articles would appeal to your readers, who could benefit directly from her combined theoretical and practical expertise.
    Catherine would also be open to researching and writing about topics that you think might be relevant.
    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind regards,
    James (Turley)

    ‘Dear Catherine,
    You looked after your mother so well, which should make you proud.
    Dr. Laverty (Family Doctor – UK NHS)’

    Liked by 1 person

  36. DEAR Wendy I wish I had read your book back when my mother in law was diagnosed some 20 years ago . She is gone now but I feel terrible as I could have been so much better in helping her make sense of the world. Thank you for your book

    Liked by 1 person

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