Thinking about memory…

one day youll forget meThis is an interesting thought, all the  more so when I think about it for people with dementia and memory loss. Often, the things I do remember now that my changing memory or ability to recall information is challenged, are sometimes those things someone has done that I have felt upset by.

Men often tell me, its odd (perhaps even annoying!) that their wives, even those of us with dementia, can often still remember the details of something they did wrong (?!), but can’t always recall so many other things?!

But, I guess, if your memories of someone are not pleasant, especially incidents from many years ago, that may well be heightened with a dementia, and could, perhaps, be why some people with dementia no longer like a person or family member.

Random, unexplainable, never meant to be unkind I am sure… but an interesting thought for me this week!

The quote on this image though, is worth consideration; I feel it is important to do our best, and be our best, so that if we are remembered by anyone at all, it will be a good one…

Finally, I’d like to close this blog with a quote from a new member of DAI, Dr Adeyinka Babatunde Agbebiyi who was a surgeon in Nigeria, and now is living with a dementia:

“Maybe it is not a bad thing not remembering. I don’t think I am missing out on the lack of memories. I am fine with what memories I am left with. Can you miss something you don’t know is missing? I like meeting new people and making new friends. It’s a good life.”

26 thoughts on “Thinking about memory…

  1. Hi Kate, My daughters say that I remember weird often funny things, but nothing important. I know that its not deliberate, but it makes no sense at all to me.
    Like the weekend I went to their home to lay the vinyl flooring in the kitchen, for them .
    I don’t remember doing the job at all, but remembered their cat coming through the cat flap carrying a kitchen carcass.?

      • Hi Kate,
        You quoted my dad. Its really the first time i’ve heard him talk about the dementia because he’s never relly accepted it. Reading that quote… I’m glad he’s happy. it’s good to know that….

      • Dear Aderonke… I am so humbled and thrilled your father has been given a voice. Your comment here, and on Facebook continues to bring me to tears, and I hope we can all meet up one day

  2. Just had a dramatic experience of Maureen being reminded that she had forgotten her son’s birthday. That was the first thing she remembered this morning. I have to do something about his phone call as all they do is cause distress!

  3. Michael is right! It often strikes me when people who lived through exactly the same situation remember completely different things. It could almost be a different experience all together! Perhaps some emotions help us to store memory and other help us to dump them?

      • Kate your so right I’m youngest of four, and I’m only finding out now really since moving in with mam, how different our up bringings were, maybe that’s why I’m here with mam and the others aren’t .x

      • I read some interesting research done in NSW some years ago, where they interviewed siblings from the same families, and it was as if not one of them had grown up in the same home. Fascinating stuff indeed.

  4. My husband has been fortunate to experience the opposite memory retention. He has forgotten feuds and tensions he had in the past with family members. He feels only good will. It is quite frankly an unexpected positive consequence because he has renewed relationships that had been rocky, creating an unlikely support system for himself.

    • Alice my mam seems happier and less stressed than she was a couple of year before her diagnosis. She loves to let the dogs on the settee with her, laughs when they’re barking like mad in the garden and gives them little scraps off her plate. I remember her being so strict with our dogs when I was a child, they were all impeccably behaved and well trained and had their own bed to lie on. What I myself find confusing and conflicting to what I have read, is mam can remember so little from the past, she frequently asks where her mam and dad have gone as she can’t remember them passing. When I try to reminisce, she only has a few favourite memories she draws upon, but she can tell a great story with them. I keep wanting to do a family tree in a book for us to look at together, it must feel,like she has lost her identity. She no longer recognises our old big family portrait of us siblings and partners and children, but she often talks about my brother (he was the favourite) , but not as her son, as someone she knew a long time ago. Most of our family snaps have been replaced by her favourite cd s she has taken pics of Susan Boyle and Dolly Parton and Neil diamond out of the cd cover and arranged them on the sideboard, she loves them and it’s mams house after all ….

  5. Learning theory says that learning is stronger when paired with emotions. That is why we can remember things that we associate with good times, music, celebrations, disaster, and yes even when “someone done you wrong.” I don’t think its a “woman thing?” I like Agbebiyi’s attitude!

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