Dementia Action

Very soon a special week will start, and it will be special for different people and for different reasons all over the world. During that week and without a doubt, somewhere nearby in Australia, a husband or a wife or a partner will recognise and admit that domesticity has definitely changed and will finally concede that the partner is definitely responding or behaving differently to a worrying degree.

I’m not talking about matrimonial unfaithfulness! And the kind of change I’m talking about is not because that person is temporarily unwell or suffering from Coronavirus, but is behaving, or responding or talking, significantly differently from the way they did – last month or last year. Changes in behaviour like that are often slow and can be manifested in various ways. Sometimes they are so variable that they sneak past a partner’s notice, and those symptoms may not even be because of Alzheimer’s disease and so it’s critical for one of the partners to first seek medical help. It is often the children or close friends who first notice important personality changes and then find it awkward, confronting even, to bring the topic up, even with the other partner.

That’s the problem with Alzheimer’s. It can creep up on you. After all, everyone forgets things we shouldn’t. So those who are closest, our partners, even neighbours and friends, are usually quick to forgive and to forget it is happening more often than a few minutes ago, or last week, or last year. Often, as it was in my case, it’s the children who’ve left home for work and marriage who come home for a visit and notice there’s a difference to Mum or Dad, “they always seem to forget what we just talked about, or how long ago since we last visited”, and more……

Ultimately, there will be a discussion between the children (if they keep in touch with each other after leaving the nest) and one of them will quietly arrange to get the ‘normal’ parent aside and pose the question, in my case, “Have you noticed how Mum is so forgetful?”. Or perhaps you’ve noticed a difference yourself when you’re shopping or preparing a meal – how things are tackled differently these days. Is that something you can identify with?

 If some of the above resonates with you then you should know that a very special week starts soon: it’s Dementia Action Week, from Monday, 20th September 2021. But it needn’t conclude after a week…for you, maybe it will be just the beginning of an awareness or perhaps a need for action! I would encourage all my readers to click on this link and find out more:

Dementia Action Week | Dementia Australia     

On that website you will find lots of interest and simple and practical tips to help you give some support to a person living with dementia, or to a carer, a friend, a neighbour, or family member of such a person, as well as many helpful links.

And, as you read about my own story, you may find some parallels with your own experiences. If so, drop me line and perhaps we can share and help each other cope, especially now with coronavirus causing us to be even more separate….