What I Want to Tell You as a Person with Dementia, by Masahiko Sato

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 4.57.37 pmThanks to a friend who I met at ADI2012 in London, Kumiko Magome from Japan, who shared this with me, and for Masahiko Sato for giving me permission to publish it here.

I am deeply honoured to be able to announce on my blog this information from a colleague in Japan, Masahiko Sato, including details about his book on living with dementia.

Thank you Masahiko Sato for sharing your personal thoughts and wisdom on living well with a diagnosis of dementia. I hope one day I am privileged enough to meet you in person. My most sincere and heartiest congratulations to Masahiko on becoming published, in spite of a diagnosis of dementia

Note: The translation of the messages were done by a group of volunteers, and as I cannot read or write in Japanese, I have no idea how accurate the translation into English is, but feel sure, as Kumiko is a translator, they will be reasonably accurate. I am hoping this book will be published in English one day, so many more of us can also have the privilege of reading it.

English: Masahiko Sato, What I Want to Tell You as a Person with Dementia, Ohtsuki Shoten: Tokyo, 2014.

Japanese: 佐藤雅彦、『認知症になった私が伝えたいこと』、大月書店、2014年。

Masahiko Sato, “Ninchisho ni natta Watashi ga Tsutaetai Koto.”

佐藤雅彦さんが伝えたいこと

※これは、認知症当事者の会の共同代表である佐藤雅彦さんが書かれたメモ『私が伝えたいこと』です。日本文は佐藤さんが書かれた原文であり、英文は富士通グループの有志が翻訳したものです。

※佐藤さんが伝えたいことについてより詳しくは、佐藤さんが書かれた単行本『認知症になった私が伝えたいこと』(*1)をお読みください。

http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4272360825

認知症になっても、できなくなることも多いが、できることもたくさんある

Even though I have dementia, the many things I can no longer do are also accompanied by many things I can do.

認知症になると不便なことが増えるが、決して不幸ではない。

Having dementia has led to more inconveniences, but this does not necessarily mean I am unhappy.

認知症になっても、絶望することなく、生活の仕方の工夫を紹介して、希望を持て生きる。

Even though I have dementia, I have introduced ways to be creative in my lifestyle without giving in to despair and continue living with hope.

認知症になっても、人生をあきらめない。

Even though I have dementia, I have not given up on living.

認知症への偏見は認知症当事者も信じて生きる力を奪うので、この偏見をなくしたい。

Even people diagnosed with dementia may find themselves believing the distorted views of others about this illness, and end up robbed of their will to live. I want to find ways to eliminate these distortions.

認知症になったからこそ、他人を気にせず、自分の好きなことをしてもらいたい。

It is particularly when people develop dementia that they should do the things they like without giving any mind to others.

不便さを乗り越えて、自分の生活を張り合い持つように工夫して、充実した人生を送ってもらいたい。

I want people to overcome inconveniences and make adjustments to maintain zest in their own lifestyles and lead more complete lives.

私の生き方を参考にして、自分らしく生き方を模索して、残りの人生、悔いのないよう生きてほしい。

I want others to look at my way of living as a positive example, in their search to find their own way of living so that they live the rest of their lives without regrets.

私は、認知症になってから、新たに覚えたことがたくさんあることを伝えたい

What I want to convey to you is the fact that I have learned many new things ever since I developed dementia.

失った機能を数えたり、歎いたりするのではなく、残された能力を信じて、悔いのない人生をおくってもらいたい。

You should neither count what you can no longer do nor lament their loss. Instead, I hope you would instead believe in what you are still capable of and live your lives to the fullest.

認知症になっても、認知症に負けない人生をおくってもらいたい。

Even if you have dementia, I hope you lead your live without giving in to it.

新しいことでも、始める前からできないだろうと思わず、まずはじめてみて、過度にストレスを感じるようだとやめる。

When trying something new, don’t think you cannot do it even before you start. First, give it a try without getting too stressed about it.

認知症当事者は何も考えられないとではなく、豊かな精神活動を営むことができる人ととらえてほしい。

It is not true that people with dementia can’t think for themselves. I want you to know that people with dementia can lead spiritually fulfilling lives.

認知症当事者を介護の対象だけの存在ではなく、私たちが形成する社会の一員とみとめて欲しい

People with dementia are not simply people who need to be taken care of. We want others to identify as other members of society, too, as we all weave the fabric of society.

他人と比較することなく、なにができなくとも、自分は価値のある尊い存在だと信じて生活してもらいたい

I hope you do not compare yourself with others but instead see your existence itself as precious and life as valuable, despite any inabilities you may have.

辛い厳しい試練にあうかもしれないが、かならず脱出の道があると信じて生きてほしい

Although you may face terrible ordeals, I want you to live your lives believing you will find a way through them.

試練におしつぶされるのではなく、積極的に生きて欲しい

Don’t let the challenges ahead rob you of your will. I hope you try to live with a positive attitude.

パソコン、携帯電話をうまく生活にとりいれ、生活に不便を感じない実例をしめしたい

I want to present myself as an example of a good lifestyle led with a PC and mobile phone, which have helped me get past inconveniences in life.

私の生きる姿をとおして認知症当事者が希望をもって生きる姿をしめしたい

I want people with dementia to use my way of living as an example to help them to go forward with hope in their own lives.

認知症が進行する前に、旅行、コンサート、芝居などに行き楽しい思い出をたくさん作り、人生を楽しみたい。

Before my dementia progresses any further, I want to create many pleasant memories and enjoy life, such as by traveling, going to concerts, and watching plays.

ボランティアを通じて、社会に貢献していきたい。決して認知症当事者は社会のお荷物的存在ではないことを示したい。

I hope to contribute to society by participating in volunteer activities. I want others to understand that people with dementia are not a burden on society.

毎日を生かされているのが、今日が生かされている最後日だとおもい感謝して、過ごすこと

The important thing is to live one’s life with a sense of gratitude by considering each day a gift and imagining today will be the last day I am blessed with life.

Author: Masahiko Sato, Copyright 2015, Japan.

Image source is the Author: Masahiko Sato

Image source is the Author: Masahiko Sato

10 thoughts on “What I Want to Tell You as a Person with Dementia, by Masahiko Sato

  1. This is beautiful, Kate. Masahiko Sato is someone who knows what matters and steers his life accordingly. Thank you for publishing his post. Kindly, Eve

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