Strange times and the loss of routine, with dementia


My goodness it is indeed a strange and dreadful time it is with the Corona virus throughout the world.    I have been struggling a bit with staying in, well, more than a bit but trying not to give in to it.  Dementia certainly doesn’t make things straight forward.

I have lost my routine.  Never thought it would matter much, but apparently it does even if your symptoms of dementia can still be seen as early days.  Who knew.  I learn something every day about myself and my disease.  Of course what this does mean is that everything has stopped….the ‘non existent’ follow up appointments with consultants to find out what my new (if any) diagnosis will be.  Appointments to investigate why I am choking occasionally, and appointments that have been investigating why I have holes in my vision that doesn’t appear to be anything to do with my eyes.   Suddenly it all seems so inconsequential with what’s happening in the world.

How difficult it must be for those with dementia who simply cannot understand, or retain the knowledge of social distancing.  When someone is used to being able to go out of their front door and wander down to the shops,  go the local pub on a Friday night and then POW..suddenly everything changes and stops.  A daily walk can still be done, but the rest of the time distraction can be tough.   One of the things to think about is creating a memory/life story book.  Doesn’t have to be a book, it can just be on loose pages.  Get out all the photos and go through them.  Sort out childhood, working, holidays and any special time that was good.  Never focus on dead relatives, even parents because it can become too distressing.   Write some good times down, so that in the future you will always have a photo to look at some information about it and a topic to chat about, especially if it brings back happy memories.

Being shut away from the outside, I thought I would be doing lots of crafting, but somehow I can’t seem get my head together enough to do that, yet.  It will come when I have decided how to focus my creativity.

My confidence has certainly taken a massive dip, down to somewhere between staying comfortable and peeping over the parapet to keep up with what’s happening with the art group.   Which of course is re-wiring itself to the circumstances.  We will, hopefully, be continuing some art at home, via ZOOM, or by post.   Wish I could remember the details but lack of the exercise of having to try to remember things has seem to taken a toll.   This of course is interesting in itself because it shows that people living with dementia who are not going out, not joining in with activities socially of any sort are likely to become more ‘brain institutionalised’, than those who do things.    What I mean by ‘brain institutionalised’ is that treat someone like a ‘patient’ and they start acting like a patient.  Same with children really, you need to challenge what they can do and what they think they can’t do to inspire their brains to be stimulated into trying different things, and hopefully enjoying it.   Not sure if that makes sense to anyone, and of course it is only my thoughts on it.

So what have I been occupying my mind with?  I have begun reading again, something I stopped doing a year ago, because I was busy.   I have to argue with myself that you are never too busy to read!!   So, I have been wading through a series of pandemic/apocalyptic books… hahaha yes I have!  I love them.  I reckon I should be okay now if everything truly falls apart because I know how to arm myself and survive!!   Anyway the latest one is truly dreadfully written, which only goes to show I am at last reading like a reviewer again.  (Having reviewed books for authors and publishers).


I cleared the detritus (wood) in my garden to one corner, ready to dig an area which will house my little orchard.  Today I had delivered an eating apple bush, and a big cooking apple tree (maiden – long single trunk)… my daughter bought them for me at Christmas.   Will be googling how to prune the cooking apple tree to get it to fit in my small garden and not being a very knowledgeable gardener, I shall be out with my secateurs and my mobile phone watching a YouTube video whilst I do it!  No problem, how difficult can it be? 😬

I have watched plenty of films and documentaries on Netflix, TV, and Prime, so I know how the justice system works both in the UK and USA, I also know more about psychopathic murderers..well you never know when it will come in handy knowing these things.  Of course I have watched some comedy programs, re-watching some favourites.

I think we will all be a little scared of venturing out when we are able but I also think that everyone will have learned how to slow down a little and enjoy peaceful times, and the small things in life.

Stay upbeat and well guys.

Gill x

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