Finding words to express your feelings can be very beneficial to anyone who’s caring for a person with dementia

Many carers tell us that the hardest part of caring for a loved one with dementia is the loneliness. They feel isolated, as if nobody really understands what they’re going through, day in, day out…

The dementia journey can stir up many complex, uncomfortable and sometimes surprising feelings. In any one day for example, you might experience anger, sadness, despair, laughter and fun. One minute you’re managing well…the next you’re on the floor in floods of tears. So what’s the best way to cope with such a rollercoaster of emotions?

For some, the answer is to put their feelings into words and write a poem. Self-expression through poetry can certainly be cathartic. In fact, clinical trials have shown that poetry writing helps carers to reflect, gain greater acceptance, self-awareness and a sense of achievement.

Ann Moyser’s husband John has dementia and is now living in a care home. Ann and her family visit all the time and John seems very content, but when Ann’s alone she often puts pen to paper, particularly when she thinks about her young grandchildren.

‘We celebrated our diamond wedding anniversary in June – sixty years of marriage,’ says Ann. ‘We’re lucky that John is very cheerful. The grandchildren love going to visit him, they give him big hugs and play in the garden and he has a smile for everyone, but I can’t help thinking how much he’s missing out. My son said this poem brought tears to his eyes, but I was just putting into words how I felt.’

You are with us

Please can you help me, I’ve forgotten my name
Don’t know where I’m going. Or where I came,
Are you a friend? Have I met you before?
Perhaps I already know you. But I’m not very sure
You are the first person to give me a smile
And I’ve have been standing here for quite a long while
Many people have passed me and hurried away.
No time to listen on their busy day
But wait, just a moment, some voices I hear
Must be someone behind me, sounded quite near.
Grandad we’re here, you were never alone,
We didn’t leave you, we are taking you home.
Tea will be ready, food on the table
We will come to the park again when we are able
Take hold of my hand, we’re going this way,
We all have had a wonderful day
Yes, perhaps you forget, the things that we do
But smile again Grandad, we don’t forget YOU

ann-moyser-husband


Do you have a poem about dementia you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you. Please email us at happytohelp@unforgettable.org