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6 Things To Know About Someone With Dementia

By Dan Lonigro | Posted on 05.26.2015 | 5 comments
6 Things To Know About Someone With Dementia
Photo: Fuse / Thinkstock
I wrote this poem from the perspective of a person with dementia to emphasize how important it is to help those with dementia do the things that they CAN still do. Focusing on abilities can help a person feel purpose, fulfillment, accomplishment, and quality of life. I hope this poem helps you improve care in your facility or for your loved one. Please feel free to share it and pass it on!

I can still smell the flowers.
I don't garden anymore, but I can still smell the flowers. Bring me some roses. This will remind me of my past.

I can still communicate.
I can't talk the way I used to, but I can still communicate. Be patient as I try. This will help me feel connected.

I can still make decisions.
I don't have the judgment I used to, but I can still make decisions. Give me choices. This will make me feel like I’m a part of things.

I can still wash my face.
I can't take a bath by myself anymore, but I can still wash my face. Assist me with direction. This will help me feel purpose.

I can still sing.
I can't dance anymore, but I can still sing. Help me enjoy music. This will enrich my life.

I can still move my body.
I can't walk unassisted anymore, but I can still move my body. Walk with me, and support me if I stumble. This will help me feel engaged.

You are my lifeline. I depend on you. But please don’t do for me what I can do for myself. Recognize what I can do and help me to function as a person. 

You are key to the quality of my life.


Get resources to help you provide high-quality dementia care.
Dan L
Thanks Kathy, I am so glad you find it so inspirational!
6/18/2015 3:51:15 PM
I really like the poem you wrote about the abilities that folks with dementia still have. I am bringing it to work with me and will post it as a reminder to myself and the rest of the staff.

Cathy, that you for sharing this amazing poem. It is a good reminder of the important thing that we can do for those that we serve.
6/17/2015 9:23:40 AM
thanks for sharing. here's related article http://anti-aging-today.us/dementia-facts/ you might be interested with.
3/25/2015 10:54:18 AM
Dan lonigro
Hi Cathy

So glad you liked this piece. Feel free to share it with your staff and I hope they find inspiration in it.
10/14/2013 11:29:07 AM
Cathy Bickley
This is so true. Working with people with dementia, cognitive or physical disabilitie you have to step back and also remember respect (biggy in my books). I printed this off because it is so relevant to many situations. I hope my staff will take the time and read it. I posted it in the staff room. Maybe I should get it blown up so they don't miss it. Or when I do yearly planning meetings with families and clients, it should be something we read before we start.
Very inspirational, well done
Cathy Bickley
Keswick, Canada
10/11/2013 1:28:13 PM
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