Communication and dementia

lettersThe only way forward to finish writing a blog today is to write freestyle, in the manner of NaNoWriMo, no judgement, no fear, no set plan, although I will try to edit it before I publish it.  Thanks to the intelligence of the computer, at least I have help. Looking in my office, it seems I really need a secretary but the only way I could have one is to retrench the son who works in our company, and I can’t see that idea being such a great discussion at our next family dinner!!!

I have over 750 emails in my Inbox, and am almost too scared to look in the Sent box. The only one I can manage now is the Delete box, and so perhaps I should adopt the rationale one of the radio announcers in Adelaide many years ago and delete the lot? When emails first came in, if he went on leave, then when he returned and there were too many for him to manage, he simply deleted them all, on the basis the people who had sent the really important ones would get in touch with him again! This was back in the day when we didn’t have internet access 24/7, and employers didn’t expect everyone to log on when on holidays.

On twitter recently, a younger friend said he had organised his Inbox down to 2 emails when he went home, and the next morning had 54 new ones. He was bemoaning the fact we have emails at all, and I have many other friends who rarely answer emails, but always answer Facebook, LinkedIn or twitter. I’m not sure businesses would manage without email, as it has now become the norm, taking over from formal business letters. For me, it seems a brave new world and I would be very lonely without access or the ability to engage in this new way of communicating.

I do like the fact most communication is stored on my computer, even though many times I cannot find it, even by searching. And it partially saves the many piles of paper in my office, that usually end up in piles on bookshelves or the floor! But perhaps the loss of written communication is changing our social history, changing our footprints. For example there will be no sitting down for hours reading hand written love letters after someone we care for dies, no glimpse into the person through their handwriting or their style of communication. Possibly the other impact of emails is on stamp collectors, as the amount of stamps being used has diminished.

The impact of having dementia on communication is more than losing my words or not understanding things. The time required to think, to write, to read and to understand is increasing. There are many more times when I just agree or barely comment during conversations because I simply cannot keep up, nor understand fully what is being said, particularly in groups. Perhaps this is why I’ve come to like the social media sites so much, as they are short bursts of written words, rather than whole sentences or paragraphs, and I can take any amount of time I need to reply. And of course writing and following blogs has become part of my world; they are almost like reading a newspaper or magazine of choice, with the added bonus of being able to communicate with the other writers.

One thought on “Communication and dementia

  1. You’re still doing great from this end Kate! You may be having more difficulty but it sure doesn’t show. Hang in there and have a good day! Hugs….VK

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