There is no end to what can be achieved .......
Yesterday I had lunch with another friend who I haven't seen for ages. A year ago this friend was the first person to pick up the phone and ask me if Ash had a problem. He'd been bush beating for them as he does every year but this time had got lost on the way there, phoned her and not known where he was, not even if he was at a T junction. He had acted out of character all day and she (and her husband) were worried about him. I, being in denial, assured her he was just suffering from anxiety and she, bless her, pretended to accept the explanation. The bush beating season is about to begin all over again so I emailed her to ask if they wanted Ash this year. I hoped they did as he is so looking forward to it but would have completely understood if they felt they couldn't cope and backed away. I am so happy to tell you that, not only are they welcoming him back with open arms, but the reason for the lunch yesterday was to see what they need to put in place to make sure it all works for him. My friend has already made one huge change to the first day to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible. This, she said, will give them time to watch and see if there are any other changes they need to make. She took three 'Contented Dementia' booklets, one to read herself and two to give to others who will be alongside Ash during the day. This is a prime example of how, with the help and support of those around them, a person with dementia can carry on living a useful and fulfilling life. It does take commitment and effort from friends and family (and we seem to have that in abundance) however it also takes a willingness from those of us more closely connected to spread the word that dementia isn't something to be afraid of, that the person we all once knew is still in there and that relationships do still remain.