A challenge for you
It is so hard trying to explain to someone what it feels like to lose your best friend to dementia. I realise it's not the worst thing to happen in life but it can be quite soul destroying especially in the beginning. Once you realise what's happening and start making adjustments to your expectations, thinking and behaviour (and it has to be you that make those adjustments) things start to get easier but life is most definitely different. Anyway I thought that maybe you might like to join in an experiment, just for half a day if you like but a whole day if you think you can. This is for anyone who isn't currently living a life affected by dementia (or not that you yet know about). There are rules of course:
- Decide which of you is the person with dementia then that person can spend the day doing what they want when they want with no thought for or awareness of anyone else.
- The person with dementia can't start a conversation.
- You must not ask questions. Nothing like 'would you like a cup or tea?' or 'is it time for lunch?'
- You can't discuss plans for the day (or tomorrow or next week).
- You must make all of the decisions with no input from them.
- You mustn't disagree with anything they say as this could tip you both into a circular discussion that no-one will win.
- You must work out their favourite topic so that you have something to talk about (just the one, but no questions).
Try this and see how it feels then imagining doing it every day with no prospect of things returning to how they were.
I'd love to know how you get on and what you think. What was the hardest thing on the list to do? What made you feel the most uncomfortable? Please email me and let me know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org or post on the facebook group