It is hard to sit back and watch a debilitating illness like dementia take hold of a loved one, turning a once proud individual in to a shell of their former self.
It doesn’t matter how far gone the illness has affected the sufferer, a daily battle consumes them. This battle appears in many guises from an obsessive nature to no recollection of loved ones. It slowly takes away a person’s identity and their ability to perform the simplest of tasks.
My father had mixed dementia which affected his ability to remember to do certain tasks such as eating, personal hygiene and medication. He forget where he lived most of the time which caused paranoia and depression within him. This raised concerns within me, which was why in 2013 I decided to take on the role of his primary care giver full time.
I never thought it would be such a complex role involving my time, patience and sanity, so I initially tried keeping a daily journal as a way of expressing my daily woe’s and concerns, but this fell by the wayside.
After taking a creative writing course and joining a writing group as a weekly release from my caring duties as well as to socialise and meet new people. What I found was a truly unexpected ability to put my thoughts and woe’s in to poetic form and have now compiled some of those poems to hopefully show both the rewards and frustrations an illness like dementia can have on the person diagnosed with it and their loved ones.