Category Archives: guest blog

A Guest Poem by Bob and request from his wife Sue…….

I may have lost some old friends due to dementia but I have gained a wealth of new ones.

Today’s blog is a husband and wife duo of a blog…….. My dear friend Bob, also living with dementia has sent me yet another gem of a poem. I’ve told him I’m going to have to create a ‘weekly Bob slot’ for his wonderful poetry……he ended his email by saying, ‘Thank you for your calmness and warmth.’ Well thank you Bob for your amazing poems……

SOME DAYS…WARM FRIEND

Some days have no ways
of raising your spirits
or enlightening your heart.
So,
when there’s such blankness,
where do you start
to lift up the cover
and light up the room
enclosing your ‘can-do’,
pulsating your gloom?
Then,
no waste of time
in this mood of ‘reflect’.
Get up and get out!
Be bold! Go!
Connect
with those that you love,
and share where you are!
Have no reservations!
Pooh-pooh the ‘do-da!
Be honest and open!
With a true friend you’ll find
warm satisfaction
and calm peace of mind xx 29/01/19

The second part of the blog is a request from his wife Sue, to advertise an event she’s involved with organising. I suppose this bit is for people local to myself to check out. So here’s the advert…..

It’s a chance to have some lunch time fun and food and all in the name of a good cause…..Sounds wonderful…….if you’re local would you mind sharing this amongst your friends please? Thank you 🙏

I’ve met wonderful people since being diagnosed and Bob and Sue are two of the most recent.😊

WEN-DY! ………Guest Poem

On my blog, on Twitter and as I go to different places, I’m lucky enough to meet some wonderful people and make wonderful new friends. Bob and his wife Sue have been to two of the workshops I hold with Cathryn Hart. He’s also a wonderful poet and sent me this amazing poem he wrote after our last workshop……felt very humble and overwhelmed when I read it. It’s now been framed and is on the wall in my memory room…….Hope you enjoy it too…..

Wen-dy day is looking grey,
Wen-dy ‘dos’ don’t go your way,
then it’s time to turn your mind
to Wendy Mitchell.

Wen-dy head don’t seem to know,
Wen-dy worries seep and grow,
then you MUST blow off the dust
with Wendy Mitchell.

Wen-dy evening seems too long,
Wen-dy ‘should-I?’s go all wrong?
then remind yourself the ways
of Wendy Mitchell.

For, without a single doubt,
think of Wendy, you will shout
‘She can do it!
So can I!

She has shown me how to fly!
Take on all those conflagrations!
To exceed all expectations!
I’m here!
I’m whole!

I’m free!
And,
best of all,
I’m ME!’

with love, thanks and good wishes, Bob xx

Guest Poem………

This is a poem by a Twitter and blog friend – Sonya Hill. Her Father in Law has Alzheimers and also a friend of her mum…..Enjoy. I’ll try and pass on any messages you send.

How many times do i have to say please behave if only for a day.
What ever I say or what ever I do never seems acceptable to you.
You sit with a vacant expression on your face, I run backwards and forwards for you all over the place.
Where have I put that this and where have I put that you ask and I reply, I’ve told you a thousand times then you look at me and sigh.

It’s then I cup your face and look into your eyes, it’s hard for you to understand,  and make you realize.
Looking back throughout the years the memories we hold, the love, laughter, and all the stories you have told.
It’s you and me now, a challenge every day, as I gaze into your empty eyes I would just like to say.
I loved you when we met all those years ago, it’s now been more than 25 years and I love you even more so.

You can’t help yourself with this dreadful disease, but we can fight it along the way.
Even though it’s a battle to make you understand, I would just like to say,
Alzheimers, for you, is a lonely life but always remember I love you my darling wife.
If you think of the future and forget the past let’s live our lives as though it’s our last……

Guest Poem…….by Bob…..

Following on from yesterday’s Guest Poem by Bob, here’s the final poem that Bob brought for me to read…….before the poem he wrote the following:

Each new day I am increasingly conscious of becoming less able to be ‘there’ to move the smallest mountains or even be close by to make idle decisions. Thereafter I find myself in constant consideration that I am seen by others as unaware of who, what and why I am.

My response is only to help confirm this appraisal by withdrawing and not contributing to the interaction in case my ‘viewpoint’ doesn’t coincide with that of those around me.

Herewith, an attempt to bring this together……..

When I think I’m ‘on track’
In total control,
Arrives a ‘black hole’
Mocking my mind!
I’m a lost
Random soul!
THEN
Lock down your mind
Empty your head!
Start thinking again;
Mind what you said!
HENCE

Be who you are!
Engage and delight!
Make love, laughter, living,
Everlasting bright!

For wherever you are, whatever you do,
No matter the question,
The answer is YOU!

Guest Poem……by Bob

Last Thursday at my last book event in Beverley, two people came up to me afterwards to chat; Bob who is living with dementia and his wife. Bob had brought me two poems to read along with a speech he’d written. Poetry is his way of relieving the frustration of dementia. He didn’t bring them for me to publish, he simply wanted me to read them.

However, they are so wonderful, that I asked if I could share them with you and after much persuading Bob agreed. His wife was over the moon that they would be published here and I imagine she is the ‘Sue’ in the poem😊

So here’s the first and the other will be here tomorrow…..

Poetry in Promotion……an exercise in exorcising!

Perhaps I wouldn’t choose to be
The me I am that now is me
But on the other hand, my mind
Can usually, make its way to find
An ‘outlet’ that will cause relief;
Re-establish self belief.

And then there’s Sue
And others too
Who feel and ‘know’
And see me through

So,
Through the ‘pictures’ smeared and blurred.
To have ‘self sorrow’ is quite absurd!
Then,
When I taste that ‘loss’ in me
I exorcise through poetry…………

Guest Blog……’VivifyMe’

Today I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful young friend of mine, 11 year old Arnav. He is one very special young individual who is trying to make a difference for people living with dementia. Please read and be amazed at his talent and his very proud mum, Manisha.

Wendy has kindly agreed to publish our blog today. Thank you for all your support, help and well wishes.  

Vivify means ‘enlivening something’. VivifyMe aims to enliven lives of older people – particularly those living with mild cognitive impairment and early dementia. With the well wishes of everyone who knows Arnav, VivifyMe has been selected as one of the 9 finalist in Challenge Dementia Prize Essex and has also been awarded as London Mayor Scientist Award.

VivifyMe brings together different evidence based approaches for dementia into one affordable and personalised solution. Dementia is already one of the biggest health and social care challenges facing local health economies across the UK and world.

There are a number of assisted living solution for older people. VivifyMe builds on the proven approaches and methods; and brings them together in one easy to use solution that can be personalised for better results and outcome.

VivifyMe was developed by  Arnav with support from his mum, Manisha, when he was 9 years old after he learned that his grandfather had developed dementia. When we tried to search for products, they often had just one feature in them and were very costly.

He has always been interested in using technology for solving problems. He won Tech4Good People’s Choice and Winner of Winners awards in 2016 for his asthma solution – Asthma Pi.

It was initially developed on a Raspberry Pi (a small and basic computer developed to promote the teaching of basic computer science) but to make it even more accessible and affordable, the main features have been developed as an app to be used on a tablet.

It uses touch screen and voice assisted prompts, to provide an easy to use interface.

It is helpful for current dementia patients but would equally be well suited to future generation, who are even more used to using touchscreen based devices like smartphones.

It allows for the solution to be customised by carers to ensure that it delivers a truly personal experience and supports carers in looking after their family members.

We believe that it can improve the quality of life, slow cognitive decline, promote independence and well being.


Arnav😊

 

Guest Poems…..

When I come across playmates writing beautiful pieces they can’t share I like to use my blog to share them on their behalf as it’s so important to hear ALL voices.

Today is one such moment.  Jackie and Liz are 2 dear friends who have been together for years. Liz now has dementia and she wrote these poems for Jackie….

TO JACKIE

I want to tell you how it feels
To be cheated out of reality
Dementia tells lies to my mind
It takes away the beautiful truth
And leaves in its wake many hurts.

I want you to know I’m still aware
How dementia can trick me
My love for you will never fade
Even when I behave badly
But it leaves sad memories behind

I would like to say a loud NO
Whenever it’s tricks and lies deceive
To be able to answer NEVER NEVER
And know I’m assured I’ll be ok
And that it will leave without taking me.

This was written after a bad spell of “suspicious mind” and not trusting my lovely Jackie.
We’ve been together 25 years and this is a new behaviour…..damn dementia
Got it off my chest in poetry.

And this last one….

MORE GOOD DAYS

One day without a diseased brain
Would be enough for me to enjoy
One day at a time

But make it two and it could be
Almost like it used to be
Just being myself

If 3 days could be had
It wouldn’t be as bad
I could live life to the full

But if a cure could be found
I would be on solid ground
My life would know no bounds
To enjoy more good days

Bridge over Alzheimer’s…….Guest Poem……

On Friday I had a lovely email from a 12 year old called Zoe who had just finished reading my book. She had written a poem for me.

It was sooooo amazing that I asked Zoe and her mum if I could share it with you all. Luckily for everyone, they said yes. So here it is……..Remember, this talented poet is 12 years old……

Bridge over Alzhienr’s

Alzheimer’s continually,
Springs upon people,
Young and old,
An unexpected storm,
Takes memories away,
Takes happiness,
Takes,
Memories fondly looked back on,
Smiling faces in polished frames,
Now gathering dust.

Then family,
Friends,
Sadly watching,
Caring,
Pits in their hearts,
Tears threatening to fall,
But they must be happy,
They can be happy,
They can smile through the pain,
To create new memories,
That take longer to fade,
Living for the moment,
Taking life as it comes.

Holding hands,
Then,
Looking into their eyes,
Seeing misty glances of confusion,
Or,
Seeing bright eyes of a memory,
That they caught,
Floating,
With a sturdy grip,
Determined not to lose.

They don’t want to seem,
‘Vulnerable and alone’,
They aren’t.
They don’t want to seem,
‘Lost and confused’,
We can help,
We cup our hands around them,
Stopping them,
Slipping too fast,
We are their bridge,
Over troubled water,
Even though,
They can,
With courage,
Swim.

Guest blog by Billy the Cat……..

Hello, Billy here 😺

I’m watching helping Wendy in the garden and she’s gone off and left her iPad for me to sneak a cheeky blog………..

It’s been a while since Wendy’s had the time to potter in the garden with me due to the success of my her book. Obviously it was my part in it that sold the book, but I’ll allow her to take some of the credit.

I hope you’ve all had the wonderful wild life catching sunshine of late. I’ve been in and out all night trying to tell Stuart and Gemma how wonderful it’s been in the middle of the night, but for some reason they weren’t impressed with me……can’t imagine why as it’s the best time of the day. They then complain when I sleep all day, when they want their cuddles, but they can’t have it all ways…..

Anyway here I am today, surveying Wendy at work……I can see the bird feeders have just been filled too, so there maybe a little treat in store for me us as the bird life joins us.
Oooooo yes I see one now up in the tree – excuse me a mo……

Missed it!

What better way to spend a day than lazing in a patch of shade while Wendy does all the work……..oooooo, I can see her coming back…..maybe it’s time for my sorrowful look by my bowl, after all it’s at least half an hour since she last gave me a few biscuits……😹

After all I do believe it’s a well know saying:

Dogs need care, Cats need servants……….

Over to my daughter today….

The Alzheimer’s Society recently asked me to write a guest blog recently but also my daughter Sarah wrote one – a daughters perspective on support. So today, I thought I’d share the link, because we always say that when we get a diagnosis of dementia, our family and friends get the same diagnosis, and need equal amounts of support, advice and education…..

https://blog.alzheimers.org.uk/personal-stories/wendys-story-part-three/