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Introduction to the printed version of 'Directions'
I have been asked to write an introduction to this book.
Because I am the wife of a man who had Dementia. Dementia is easy to say and easy to write but not so easy to understand.
‘Why me?’ is a very good question.
When Chris was first diagnosed there was no magical clap of thunder that turned him from one sort of person in to another. There was no particular moment telling me that this day or that week was the start of the disease. But like the constant ebb and flow of sea on rocks it continued to erode his memory.
In the early years, there were things he gradually became incapable of doing but on the other hand there was still plenty he could do, so life, while being rather strange, was still fairly normal. His changes were so gradual I found I was learning how to deal with them as they came along.
What I didn’t have, for a long time, was any real back up. It was only after coming across a support group called ‘Solace’ that I found real help and advice. I found kindred spirits and fantastic volunteer helpers who had already made this journey and knew exactly what I was trying to cope with.
Solace is described further on this book along with other excellent support groups. I do recommend you make use of them for no matter how supportive friends and family may be, there is nothing like the relief and reassurance you feel when you are in the company of people who know just how things are – even when you haven’t told them.
It may not be necessary for you to turn the pages of this book for a long time but when you do please try to make full use of it as there is so much here that will help you on your way. There was nothing like this for me so I really want to sing out the praises of Jane Patreane from the Mental Health Development Project and her helpers who have worked so hard to put ‘Directions’ together.
Jill Grey, Cardiff
P.S. You can now also get support online from the ‘Dementia Carers Problems Shared’ website, visit www.dementiacarers.com
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