Interesting experience yesterday down at Miss Philly Grill. Unintentionally eavesdropped on a man sitting at the counter talking about the aunt of a friend of his, a woman in an advanced state of Alzheimer’s, unable to recognize any of her loved ones.
The man had internalized the situation to the point where he clearly SAW himself, years from now, in a similar situation. He knew one person, not even his own relative, with Alzheimer’s, yet in his mind the one turned into one hundred. Now THAT’s demented!
Being as bold as brass, I went over & mentioned overhearing the discussion, letting him know that while it can feel like every older person we know has some form of dementia, they actually don’t. It hit me that he was talking about the aunt of a friend – not his – & was forgetting all the older people he knows who DON’T have dementia. Or the ones who do & he doesn’t know about because they aren’t presenting themselves as anything other than somewhat forgetful. Alas, could not convince him that the majority of the elderly do NOT have a form of dementia; facts didn’t matter because his emotions were fully engaged.
People of all ages are terrified developing dementia, seem to have the fear etched into their brains, worrying about something, giving it a form of BEING even when it is considerably more likely they will be just fine. What a waste of energies. And if people who are diagnosed & live with the many forms of dementia weren’t TOLD it was a fate worse than death, things would be so much better for them & for their loved ones.
Tamara Taggart , a Vancouver television personality, shares two conversations ~ the first almost broke her heart; the second broke it open.
When you listen to the first conversation, ponder how dementia’s depiction as depressing, dark, dire – and about Tamara’s actual experience; hearing the second, reflect on her experience with what has followed. Which will you think of if someone you love is faced with neurological challenges?
May these two conversations change your life!