PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wandering or Walking?

Check out Kate Swaffer's poem on "Walking" vs "Wandering." Very expressive!

My reply to her was:
Kate, you did it again. 

First, you make it so obvious that words and language can influence how we think, feel, act ... against and for others with Alzheimer's and other dementia related illnesses. 

Second, poetry is a wonderful way to express and deal with one's feelings. I have self-published two volumes of poetry many of which are informed by Gregory and my journey through Alzheimer's. When Gregory and I could no longer share language, I turned to my computer to help me process my experiences, frustrations, and emotions which led to beginning my blog and my career as a Poet! I find that often my processing expresses itself through poetry. Other people have said, and I repeat, the poetry writes me not me it!

I have always seen the residents on Gregory's floor and also Gregory as people first and Alzheimer's just as the situation we are in. I have always been careful with my "language" when discussing things about Alzheimer's. But I am getting better at it. I love promoting silly little things like calling a bib a "cloth napkin" and diapers "paper pants." 

I have been able to live in their world as well as my own. I have been able to selectively "lie" about "B's" daughter having called to say she loves her. Such joy she felt at such little costs to me! 

I have been able to participate in a business meeting to discuss with "J" what we should do about the furniture delivery. Such a sense or purpose for him and what he used to and thinks he still does.

When "S," sitting by the elevator, asks me when her son will arrive, I tell her I am not sure but I see if I can find out.

But you have brightened my outlook on seeing the entire disease in a new way and how to treat and care for my fellow human beings according to how we talk about dementia and the people affected by it (both those with dementia and those who love and care for them.)

I have begun informing, educating, correcting, etc people with whom I come into contact when their language seems inappropriate. I do so gently and with love. Tonight at dinner, the sister of "M" shared with me that "M" has been aggressive today. I asked, "Is it aggressive or energetic?" The sister liked that and repeated, "Yes, energetic."

If I may, this is my BLOG:

Also, if I may, this is where my poetry is available: 
(P.S. If you buy a new new one, the profits go to Gregory's Lieberman Center Alzheimer's Special Care unit. The used ones available at a cheaper price are owned by others and their profits are not shared.)

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