Monday, 1 May 2017

The kindness of people-most of whom I have never met, thank you

Dementia and caring brings many struggles and of course moments of joy, love and inspiration. My mum inspired me many times and amazingly at the most crucial moments when I was really struggling to cope and understand. That kind of sums it up, there is my wee mum facing all that dementia brought and over the last months nearing end of life, but always able to comfort her son and get him through it.

 As a campaigner I am trying to raise awareness, understanding and empower people to help prevent families reaching crisis situations. All too often on our journey we were lost, lonely and isolated but looking back my heart can sometime smile and this is thanks to the kindness of the special people we dealt with.

Like the District Nurse who put her arm around me one day when I was in tears and said “You’re doing ok Tom you’re doing ok.” I can’t tell you how much I needed someone to do that as I was scared of what was happening and scared of letting my mum down.

Or the Nurse ( speach & Language therapist ) who was involved in the last months of my mums life when she could no longer swallow and had been in hospital for a few days. On her returning home I was struggling to get my mum to eat or take fluids and the nurse said call me if you have any problems, so I did and she took the time to pass by after work to sit down to show me again what to do, holding mum’s hand and putting us both at ease.

There is an important lesson here, its people who change lives through their help, kindness and understanding and it is important to celebrate this so that others can take notice and follow.  A big part of my talks is celebrating the people who made our experience better, even if was just for a day. Then there are the amazing carers and families who I have met out and about or online on Twitter or Facebook who have shared their life stories and are the inspiration behind my campaign.

Over and above policies, strategies or reports it’s people who have the potential to transform people’s lives throughout what can be a very difficult and lonely journey. I still smile to think of the special people who helped me and the thousands out there helping others in the same manner, most of whom I have never met.



  1. In support to Dementia. Scottish Nurse sings for 11 charity causes @ to create an awareness. This one is for Dementia and the awesome loving family members who deal with the loss of identity of the person they once new. God Bless. Sang by John Dolan, Scottish singing Registered Nurse

  2. Simply true...people can, will, do and should help make that all important connection that makes a massive difference!

  3. Tom, You wrote an important, informative, humne, loving essay. Kind PEOPLE make all the difference in so many avenues of all lives. Each person will have dark time in their life. Very often people unknown to us these days via social Networks & Twitter we can help others or be helped. Sometimes just asking for Prayers. Sometimes those in Helping Professions are gifted in their assistance. Thank you for writing. I just by Happenstance found your article via back tracking via Twitter.
    Best Wishes. Thank you for helpung your Mom
    You have renewed my faith in Mankind. DS

  4. Tommy every time you write it reminds me that we need to see the person not the dementia. I don't like it when people say 'they're not the person I knew' - surely the person is still there?

    1. Yes Tony the person you loved is always there, deep down lost in the haze of the dematia. Is scared and allone. But if we reach out with love and respect for that person you can make contact - See Naomi Feill on youtube. Empathy grows with the dementia so on a deep level the person feel how we think and feel about her or him. So love and respect and music is a way to reach the person in the dementia haze. I also become very angry when people say dementia is just like dead - No no that is not true. Just like Tommy i have cared for mine mom and i can tell you you can still have a good time together with someone with dementia - I wish you all the best - Ignar Excuse mine faults English is not mine first language

  5. AnonymousJune 06, 2016

    Keep going with your inspirational journey and your mum would be proud of you, I have become a caremaker and continue to do my Hospice work as good as I can do it I am also a dementia friend and hope to help as many patients and family as I can XX


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