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.
to help you provide high-quality dementia care.
Image credit: greenleaf123/Getty Images