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We thank Michael who kindly shared these words below, about his family’s experience of dementia. Michael’s wife Jilly lives with younger onset dementia and over the past few years the family has accessed Dementia Australia services.
Dementia Australia thanks Michael for sharing his honest account of life impacted by dementia.
If any of this content prompts concerns and you would like to speak to someone who can provide support and guidance, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm or visit our website www.dementia.org.au/helpline
‘In the Moment’
This is about a thief called Dementia…. a very cruel and brutal thief constantly stealing my wife’s life … it’s like having a bucket full of life’s memories and no matter what you do you cannot stop the memories leaking slowly away.
You see dementia never sleeps, it devours, leaving droplets of memory….flashes of connected music…fleeting recognition with photos…but there is still light in the humour and laughter to be found in the moment.
Dementia has forced my family to survive by distilling Jilly’s life down to an essence, that essence is bound up in three essentials….the past, the present and the future.
The past is a disappearing kaleidoscope of truth, colour, life, love and memories, while the present is where light penetrates this dementia darkness, as to the future, well, there is no real concept of the future within dementia.
To survive my family has learnt to stay in the present, to linger in the moment, as it allows the hard edges of the past and future to become meaningless, we stay in the present as it illuminates the moments and that’s when the thief stops stealing.