Presence & Dementia – 5 photos
January 5, 2020

Liz visiting her dad in hospital

My dear dad has dementia.

For years he’s been declining and recently he had a five week stint in hospital following a fall (where he fractured a neck vertebrae) and then contracted pneumonia.

My relationship with dad has been slowly changing over the past few years.

It’s been fascinating watching some of the old character-traits of dad ebb away. He used to be stubbornly resistant to being helped, he used to love intellectual debates, he had a sharp mind around numbers, he loved to tease and challenge people in their set thinking habits.

Now dad has settled into a different life. His mind can’t mentally sword-fight in the way it once did.

There are times he becomes agitated with his confusion, he gets worried about who I am (he can’t remember he has a daughter). He doesn’t know where he is, (even though he’s sitting at home), he becomes concerned about his brothers and sisters (even though many of them have now passed on).

Other times he is settled. He has no sense of the past (other than childhood memories) he has no concept of time or the future. In many ways, when he’s settled, he seems more content and present than I’ve ever known him.

It was so timely to have the interview with Steve Adair with the 5 photos. Both his brother-in-law and father-in-law have dementia. At the time of this interview (Dec 2019) my dad was very poorly in hospital and there were days when I felt how horrible dementia was. It had robbed me of my relationship with the dad I once knew.

However, during this interview with the 5 photos that Steve shares I began to settle once again into the connection of presence.

As Steve says ‘don’t forget the person’.

In many ways, being around someone with dementia is a gift. It is the ultimate in living in the ‘now’. Some of the areas we discuss are:

  • There are moments where you can be present with a person with dementia and when we’re present we don’t get lost in the churning thoughts of how it should be
  • There’s nowhere to get to, just that moment
  • When I know where is mental health inside then that does something for us

You can watch the interview here

 

Watch the interview with Steve Adair about dementia

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About Inner Compass

Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are trainers, coaches and speakers. They work with individuals and groups across the UK. They also help develop coaching cultures (founded on wellbeing) within schools and organisations.

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Discover how the Inner Compass can guide you

How can you uncover your in-built resilience and wellbeing? What's the best way to share a message of wellbeing with others? The Inner Compass can guide you.

i

Explore our articles, podcasts and resources

Our articles, podcasts and resources will help people like you find the language to share the Inner Compass (also known as the Inside-Out understanding) with others.

Find out about courses, events and coaching

We've been sharing the Inside-Out understanding around the world for many years. Find out about Inner Compass courses, events and coaching.

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