Some Christmas gift thoughts for those with dementia.
- Short visits
- Hugs, physical
- Tapes of soft music, sing-a-long
Thinking again of the delightful Alan Bennett’s wonderful play, ‘An Englishman Abroad’ brings much to mind if one is an Englishman abroad. Bennett wrote of the Soviets, that while the comrades were very good they could not do this that or the other.
An Englishman living in New Zealand often has similar thoughts. The Kiwis have an abundance of strengths. Most notable is the ability to use cows to turn grass into a very profitable endeavour and of course, the ability to play rugby union. How and what then are my Kiwi friends lacking?
This extract from the NZ Dementia Action Plan, prepared by Alzheimers NZ, the New Zealand Dementia Foundation, and Dementia NZ, with the voices and input of over 300 individuals and groups is the proverbial canary in the coalmine. It points to inadequate services especially to the elderly, those with disabilities and minorities among others:
There are so many good referendum arguments for and against the availability of cannabis and ‘end of life choice’ that picking the bones out of them and voting will take a little longer than ticking a box.
In both cases I tend to the liberalisation argument; one from a considered point of view, the other more emotive than intellectual.
Being considerate and friendly to people who serve us, and to strangers, taking our turn, being honest in our relationships; these are but the beginning of a long list of behaviours that we value in our communities. There’s nothing wrong with conformity, until it becomes inhibiting.
In spite of extensive advertising claims to the contrary, most men afflicted by baldness find the condition irreversible. An American superstition claims that baldness can be delayed by cutting the existing hair very short then singeing the cut ends. Another superstition claims that when a man starts to go bald, he can slow the process by stuffing cyclamen leaves up his nose. And sprinkling parsley seeds on the head three times a year is also believed to help.
This was the day people had been waiting for, the day that might end the boredom, anxieties, the frustrations and loneliness of life lived under lockdown. When Monday finally dawned, a mild sunlight filtered through the trees in a leafy suburb devoid of cars, but full of birdsong. It really seemed as if something new lay ahead…