Life with dementia and other illnesses
This is a blog post by Ken Clasper, a prominent campaigner on dementia.
When I was originally diagnosed, I was not sure to expect from life, because life as I knew it, was about to change completely.
It was no good worrying about it, I just had to accept the changes, as my consultant told me and move on.
As she said at the time, do not push your self to do the impossible or things which are becoming difficult, but try something new, and try to get the best out of life, while you have some control.
Ever since then I have kept myself fairly busy until the last few years when I got more and more chest problems, which put a strain on things.
I suppose I accepted the illness and moved on, after receiving a lot of support and help from our then local Alzheimer’s society office, where they had various groups running for those with the illness, along with a carers group
I then got involved with the Alzheimer’s society at national level, and met many new friends around the country, and some around the world which was a bonus.
I started writing a blog at one stage, but this was meant as a personal diary, taking in my daily problems etc.
I guess that I never realised that anyone would ever see it, let alone read it, but that is all down to the brain not being able to see the obvious when you are planning something.
Then one day I spotted something I had never seen before, and that was a button saying audience. I ignored it at first then later that day went back and pressed it.
I was shocked to find that this was being read by people right around the world
I then looked again and spotted another button for comments, and when I pressed this I found that there were hundreds of comments from people saying thank you for explaining things about the illness. At this stage I realised that this was a way of telling others what you are dealing with on a daily basis, so I carried on writing it on the good days.
This blog then kept me going especially when the weather was bad, because I would see what was happening around the country, and post it on the blog so that events would get more publicity
Over the years I travelled around to conferences and meetings, but then realised that things were starting to slide, because I could not always remember what someone was saying or understand what they were getting at, so I decided to slow down and cut out some of the meetings, rather than get myself into a stressful position.
I have now been diagnosed as having chronic obstructive Pulmonary disease, after having asthma all my working life, and through this I decided to slow right down and try to enjoy my family more.
It’s well known that chest infections cause problems, when you have any neurological illness, and I now understand what this means these days.
As well as this, I have problems with coordination and this can be stressful at times, trying to workout which hand to use when I am trying to do DIY jobs.
But life moves on and I still find other things to do, and there never seems to be a quiet time, when I have nothing to do.
I have had a wonderful time with dementia charities, and I am pleased that I got involved early on rather than sit and think about the future.
As my consultant once said, keeping active is very important, because it’s no good sitting worrying about the future, and what may, or may not happen! So be positive, be happy and enjoy life!
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