An Alzheimer's Carer

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I help her change her panty pad, shampoo and brush her hair, her dentures soaking out of sight while I provide this care 

There are photographs of loved ones sitting neatly on the shelves, provided by her family to remind her of themselves

For she has got dementia what she once knew has gone, things that once were dear to her mean nothing - time moves on

Physically she’s in good shape her skin is velvet smooth, she once oozed class and confidence as photographs do prove

This illness is insidious as it cuts through race and gender. It’s important that a carer should be thoughtful, kind and tender 

And do the things that must be done, but limit expectations they can no longer reason some.

Won’t recognise relations - it’s really tough on families who provide initial care, and despite their best intentions anguish turns into despair 

The person that they know and love has gone and won’t return, so they become tormented for the pain to ease, they yearn

So as we go through life we really don’t know what’s in store, but to be dementia carers is a privilege, not a chore 

So may I have the patience and the empathy to care, and who knows, maybe someday I’ll do justice to her hair.

-John Sullivan