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Part of my life

It is dementia week this week, so this is a bit of a personal one for me!  This has nothing to do with my business, but I thought it would give you a little insight into a part of my life.  But also hopefully make some of you smile and laugh too.

Okay so Dementia is rubbish, utterly and completely bloody rubbish.  Let me just put that out there first!!!  However its also hilarious, helpful, challenging and rewarding. I know, so you all think I have gone mad and are thinking ‘what does she know, crazy women’  just bear with me and I will explain.

As many of you will know, my mum has dementia and I look after her.  We have been very lucky, as I have seen and met many people with Dementia which is much further on than my mums or has progressed faster.  I thank my lucky stars every day that we have had this long with it being pretty ‘stable’.  When my mum was first diagnosed I read everything there was to read, spoke to people, joined forums online.  But the one thing I noticed is the hugely sad, negative posts about it. Now I totally get this, trust me I do. There have been times I have wanted to scream and cry all at the same time.

There’s also beautiful & funny moments

I have had some beautiful and funny moments with my mum that wouldn’t have happened if she didn’t have dementia.  I find that looking at it this way makes the whole thing a little less sad.

My mum has lost her subtleness, I mean really lost it.  She will happily talk way too loudly about the state of someones hair or dress sense. As you can, imagine this is funny and embarrassing all at the same time.

Once I was out for lunch & she saw a lady with a new born in a buggy (now those of us who have had babies will know, that bump for most of us doesn’t just disappear overnight) well my mum says loud as you like ‘ she didn’t wait long to get pregnant again did she’ Honestly, I was mortified.  Now though I do look back and have a giggle.

Days out

Looking after my mum has made me treasure every moment that I would not have before.  I know that from my experience its hard to see the person they were before sometimes, but they are still there.  We visited a local tea room recently called Remember Me Tea Rooms in Stockton. They had old music playing.  & my mums face just lit up.  I honestly hadn’t seen her so happy in ages.  The small things really do make a difference.

I also wanted to tell you this because I have been getting asked recently why I don’t open on a Monday, well the truth is – my mum.  Every Monday I take my boys to see my mum.  We pretty much do the same thing every week. Some weeks I do think to myself, I could just stay at home or I could be working today but you know what, you can’t get that time back so I close.  I take my boys and go and drink tea & eat cake with my Mum.

Keeping your brain active

On a business related note, knitting and crochet is super good for you and great to keep your brain active! My mum can still knit from patterns years ago.  So if you don’t already have a great reason to pick up a hook or a needle then use this as one.

I just want to end on a positive-ish note and say I know that dementia is awful.  It’s a horrendous illness and it effects so many more people than just the person with dementia.  I want you to know, whether you are reading this as a carer/relative/friend of dementia or you have it yourself, there are lots of people out there and are there to talk to.  Me being one of them.

Please just message, pop into the shop, phone if you want a chat.  Also Dementia Link in Teesside are amazing! They have loads of info, craft groups, people to talk to, so give them a call. (link below) Please do not think you’re alone because you really aren’t.  Especially if your reading this as a carer as I am, it can be really hard to know if you’re doing the right thing, if you’re making the right choices but please remember you are just as important as the person you are looking after so look after yourself first!!

Teesside Dementia link service can be found on facebook https://www.facebook.com/tdls2016/


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