Love is a many spendored thing

Last week I told you that I took my mum to see an old school friend of hers who is now living in a home.  While at the home we were introduced to a chap who was there visiting his wife who has dementia.  That might not seem extraordinary but the news that he travels 20 miles each way every single day to spend time with her was.  He sits next to her at lunch to make sure she eats and then spends the afternoon with her.  Recently he has cut his visits short so that he gets home in daylight but, come the spring, he will be back to his regular hours.  Apparently he plays the piano and has not only given a keyboard to the home but has got together with 2 others who also visit their wives every day and the three of them have formed an in-house band playing regularly to residents and guests alike.  What struck me most though was how proud of his wife he is and how she knows exactly how he feels about her.  We were discussing holidays, which you will have gathered by now are a passion of mine, and he was telling us that it was his wife who planned and organised all of the amazing trips they went on including one to America which involved 6 internal flights.  While he was telling us all of this his wife sat next to him beaming away and nodding at some of the tales he told us.  I have read a lot about body language and how those with dementia pick up on it, good and bad, so easily.  This lady knew she was still loved and admired and it made all of the difference to her.  This man has lost the wife he had through dementia but still admires her, loves her and is openly proud of her and what a difference it makes to that lady.  She is happy, healthy and at peace with the world around her.  This, it seems to me, is the only way forward as far as dementia is concerned.  Acceptance of life as it is, the best memories of life as it was and the expression of pride in those dear to you.