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6 Things To Know About Someone With Dementia

By Dan Lonigro | Posted on 05.26.2015 | 6 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.
Luz Gonzalez
Thank you for this lovely poem, it brings tear to my eyes just to remember mom is not the same
after her stroke. Its important to remember the way they are now not what they use to be. before.
8/17/2015 7:22:16 PM
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