Dementia. It’s an ugly word and an incredibly cruel disease.
I have cared for my mum who is a dementia sufferer for a good few years now and would like to sound off a little if I may.
I could chart the course of the disease but that would be pointless; no two cases are alike, but I can tell you a few things that will happen as it progresses.
You will find out who are your true friends, watch as they gradually fall by the wayside.
The phone calls stop, the invitations stop, no more coffee mornings or parties. People are scared by dementia, they don’t know how to react so they run.
Now, I`m not blaming in any way the individuals involved here, I feel that what we need is much better education as to what dementia actually involves.
It’s not the end of the world, it’s not even the end of the road and it’s certainly not the end of the person.
Dementia is not something to fear. If my mum had cancer, epilepsy, MS, Parkinson’s or any one of a number of other illnesses, she would still be welcomed by most of groups and still be able to play an active part in society.
I`m not sure if it’s the word dementia or the affliction itself that scares people, but please, if a friend or relative should be diagnosed, don’t abandon all hope and even more don’t abandon the person.
That person you once knew is still in there and a lot more frustrated than you with their condition.
Have a little patience, it will go a long way and reap massive rewards.
Column by Jon Pollard
Follow Jon on Twitter, @hippy_jon.