I am often asked, “What, in layman’s terms, is dementia?”
I often answer it this way, especially at this time of year.
If you can imagine a Christmas tree, absolutely dripping with lights that shine as bright as you have ever seen. Have you ever wondered of the beauty of it and how it shines those lights of hope all around the world?
Then, if you imagine that every one of those wonderful lights are your life’s memories which can be seen (remembered) at any time. Then all of a sudden, one by one, those lights go out. Slowly but surely they start to diminish until they are gone forever, never to return, all memories of loved ones, family and life’s experiences just disappear until the final one folds into darkness and we all know, unless they find a cure what this means.
This is how I explain, in Layman’s terms what dementia is.
BUT!! And as you know by now there is always a but with me LOL!!
If sometimes, you give that Christmas tree a bit of a nudge!! (And I do not in any way condone shaking anyone with Dementia!! LOL) but, if you include and Engage with people who have this awful disease, sometimes, just sometimes these wonderful lights come back on, if only for a second, a few minutes or permanently, it doesn’t matter, the point is they have come back on and that memory has returned, for no matter how long.
I hope this helps and will help people in the future to try and explain what Dementia is, especially around this time of year.
All my love, Norrms xxxxxxxxxx
Norman McNamara is the founder of Dementia Awareness Day (DAD) and was recently invited to 10 Downing Street (Prime Minister of England’s residence). Diagnosed with dementia at age 50, he later received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Several years passed and in early 2012, he received a diagnosis of Lewy body dementia. Despite this, he continues to advocate for those who walk the road with dementia.