Dementia is one of the most destructive diseases and I hope that those who are suffering from it or have loved ones who have dementia would realise that 1) they are not alone and 2) sources of help are available, be it through emotional, financial or medical ones.
I believe that in spite of the absence of a complete understanding of dementia and its cure, the awareness of it is imperative for more support to be garnered in society towards the cause of managing dementia and reducing the burden of those who are afflicted by it in one way or another.
To me, if life were a train ride, dementia is the train stuck at the first few stations, occasionally moving past certain stations but repeatedly going back to the initial ones. It is as if the train were being driven by a indecisive master on tracks that were constructed in a random fashion with levers being pushed and pulled sporadically by some unknown forces. It is the train being filled and emptied with faceless passengers as and when they want to without any inspector checking their tickets. Sometimes, you find yourself meeting one or two familiar faces while other times, you struggle to even remember how you alighted in the first place.
For the most part however, you are in fact oblivious that the changing scenery is in fact the same few slides or that you are on a train at all. Dementia is you not realising that you are in fact not you anymore.
Dear Young Dementia Caregivers,
I do not claim to know what you are going through, let alone understand how you had to suddenly reorient your life’s focus, take on unexpected responsibilities or accommodate for things beyond your control.
But I do know that all these must have taken a lot out of you and shaped a significant portion of your life. However, I want to highlight that you have the potential to decide how you want to interpret these turn of events.
At the risk of sounding trivial, life is really what you make out of it. I hope that you will have the space, time, patience, wisdom and all the goodness that is there to see yourself as the author of your life; to use and not ignore the contents that have entered your life thus far for the purpose of curating a narrative that you deem fitting and that you will take pride in the ownership of writing every single page. After all, there is in essence only one book like yours.