I have been caring for my wee mum Joan for nearly 5 years. Just over a year ago we nearly reached a crisis point as we struggled to cope and live,
I picked myself up best I could and decided to go out, raise awareness and try and find out how others lived and coped. It saddens me to say that most families face similar if not greater struggles than we do. My campaign to collect life stories is based on my own experience on receiving a letter, a letter that changed my life. In my previous life before dementia and caring I travelled all around the world with my job ,My long term girlfriend at the time also travelled with her job .for quite a few years my girlfriend kept trying to tell me that things had to change ,that we had to stop traveling and settle down, I had to grow up amongst other things, the more she tried to discuss this or shout or even in the most intimate of moments plead, the less I heard ,I always seemed to be able to get out of talking about or discussing our future. One day as I arrived at my destination with my job I opened up my suitcase to find a letter. In that letter I read all the things my girlfriend had tried to tell me for many years ,for the first time I understood all the things she said and why we had to part
My heart was broken ,but that letter told me more about my life than I ever knew before ,that why I collect letters and life stories to take to the powers that be ,I truly believe our lives in our own words is the best way to bring more help ,understanding and awareness. We as families and carers are best placed to describe how we live and feel we are the ones who can guide to a better future and care for all. To often I hear some speaking about Dementia and Caring who have no experience, it bears no resemblance to how my mum OR the people I meet on my tour and I live and feel .A letter changed my life, our letters can change the lives of others
Please help a son and carer tell the story of living with and caring for a loved one, we have a Deputy First Minister who is listening, if we can share our thoughts and feelings our words without guidance ,surely its to hard to ignore ,
Isn’t it ?