• Reading and writing about dementia 25 March 2019 | View comments

  • 25th March 2019 | By David Jolley

    I have been reading Jackie Pool’s book: ‘Reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias’ for the Dementia Newsletter of Christians on Ageing.

    It is a very personal account, sharing with us from the start that her grandmother had begun to act strangely. The family and Jackie as a child did not know of dementia but explained the change as ‘she has gone senile’.

    So it was – It is interesting how many people who have devoted themselves to the field have been motivated by experiences within their own family. The wonderful Moira Low, who founded the Wolverhampton branch of the Alzheimer’s society was drawn to it after a career in teaching, by the illness of her mother, and the earlier experience of her grandmother. The family who have given us the Sunrise chain of care complexes were driven to invent better care for their mother in exasperation at the failings of all options open to them in the USA. So many people who come to talk with us at Dementia Conversations have shared similar stories – moving them to begin care agencies, a specialist shoe fitting facility and more.

    England’ senior nurse, when asked to speak about dementia did not refer to the literature or NHS websites but to her personal experience of living with and caring for her mother. There is nothing like it for knowing and feeling the condition – 24 hours a day – endless searching for answers and peace.

    This must go some way to explaining the powerful feeling of unity within the dementia care community. This is more than a career, or even a personal calling. This is personal. This is family.

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