When Dementia Knocks

We have a winner, folks.

Bill Bass, Cedar Falls, Iowa (should I be inserting his age here as well?), suggested When Dementia Knocks and this title was the runaway winner by vote.

To clarify, I used popular vote and not the electoral college. And it was all online—so no hanging chads. I can’t make any conclusions about Russian collusion at this point.

I can’t speak for all of you who voted but I’ll tell you why I think the new title is a fit.

Dementia knocks…

Dementia knocks quietly on the door. Maybe you ignore it for the moment.

Dementia knocks and you open the door. You adjust to its company.

Dementia knocks and then forces its way when you don’t answer.

Dementia knocks you on your butt. You get up. But sometimes it takes a while.

Sometimes the knock is gentle and even kind.

Sometimes the knock is brutal.

And then it’s gentle again.

But it never really stops knocking.

So here we are…a few years into this blog and still going strong (well, most days). A new name. A new layout (if you use the actual WordPress site).

And an upcoming FREE dementia conference with a FREE lunch–but you have to register in advance. If you are in the vicinity of Northeast Iowa on July 19, check it out:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uni-gerontology-conference-building-a-dementia-friendly-community-registration

In closing, I’m going to share–with the permission of the writer– an excerpt from an email I received this week. I’ve read it about 439 times. And I’ve obsessed about my inadequate response.

Here’s what new friend had to say in that email:

I’ve just received a shiny new Alzheimers diag. Sad but relieved. I’m not going crazy it’s my brain that has broken. It’s better to have a name for the enemy. Maybe I can turn him into my buddy. I feel like I have a few years when I can still be me and do my things. After that I hope she can put me in a nursing home and move on with herself But for today I am okay. Just gotta try to be okay tomorrow and the next day and everyday. All I want to do is keep being okay and not be a bother. I think life still can be good. For now anyways But I am so scared.

I’m humbled that someone would reach out to me hours after an official diagnosis. But my response about new challenges, new goals, planning, maintaining relationships, realism, hope, and how it’s okay to not be okay fell short.

How could it not?

I can’t fix dementia and my typed words from 2000 miles away can only be so supportive in such a situation.

But when you find yourself with that “shiny new Alzheimer’s diagnosis,” you should know you’re not alone. Until there’s a cure, there’s education. There’s support. There’s life to be lived. And professionals like myself need to keep working hard to send those messages.

And when there’s a cure, I’ll happily find another way to spend my time. Maybe I’ll start that doggie daycare for senior and disabled pooches. If you think that’s a joke, you don’t know me.

But for now….I’ll keep writing because dementia keeps knocking…. (was that too corny?)

 

7 thoughts on “When Dementia Knocks

  1. Love this new name!

    Elaine, your blog gives so much to those who read it. You manage to educate and enlighten with words and wit. Your blog has given me insight and encouragement. And I can only imagine all the many, many readers who would say “me too!”.

    Thanks for writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the new name as well. And it is wonderful that people are writing about the moments around diagnosis. My husband was diagnosed with early stage almost two years ago and he’s still doing many of the things he’s always done – perhaps not as quickly, but definitely with joy and much gratitude for the moments – and I join him in that gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

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