Optimism and dementia

Having been nicknamed Smiley as a young school girl, I can attest to the power of optimism. I found this quote in an airline magazine recently, but forgot to write down who it comes from! Maybe Meryl Streep, but I’m not 100% sure! Anyway, it resonated with me deeply, as I have been innately optimistic my whole life, even willing once to always see the best in people, although learned that lesson the hard way, for sure! I’ve always worked to be optimistic in spite of personal or serious health issues, and I really think it is important, along with resilience, both of which I believe everyone can develop if we are prepared to work on it.

DAI members will definitely attest to the fact that dementia is not for the faint hearted. I’m almost sure our families or care partners would say the same! It is one hell of a roller coaster of ups and downs, and takes a lot of effort to remain positive and optimistic, alongside increasing cognitive disabilities. For example quite a lot on it including on whether it is nature or nurture, on the value of resilience and humour when facing dementia, and on resilience and the human spirit. However, I’ve probably not written specifically on optimism here, apart from the power of positive psychology, which I am a great believer of.

We are all born with a death sentence.

Therefore, at least for me, being diagnosed with any disease or having a personal crisis is no reason to lay down and die! It is better to take some time out, lick my wounds if necessary, and then find a way to get back to living positively, in spite of whatever has happened, or what might be ahead. It is why I spend so much time and put in so much effort for DAI empowering others with dementia to to live with it, rather than go home to die from it via aged care, as we mostly all still being told to do.

#LivingBeyondDementia is definitely my motto!



15 thoughts on “Optimism and dementia

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  6. While I am alive there are always odds to beat and nothing gives me more pleasure than beating them and to see others beat them too. This is even as small as seeing a fellow men’s shed member who has AD turn up because we now give him a lift. The doctor recently saw fit to remove the fellows drivers license. Every day of our lives we are presented with obstacles and a society that is more hell bent on saying we cannot do something than allowing it. My goodness it gave me pleasure to see our friend make it to work and the members including me making sure that fellow is valued. That may be a small thing but that is optimism writ large on an unsuspecting and doubting world and Kate there is one thing this town i live in is not short of it is doubters..


  7. Optimism is the key to maintaining a sense of well-being. Like you Kate, I have always been an optimistic person, which provides hope even in the most difficult of times, but according to Martin Seligman, optimism can be learnt (interesting idea) – so theoretically is available to everyone. My thought on Seligman’s theory is that without optimism, maybe a person wouldn’t believe that they can learn to be optimistic 🤔


  8. To coin a phrase, “You Continue To Go Girl!” Just like the Energizer Bunny in the battery advertisements. I say, “The choice is to lie down and die or hunker down and keep going. The truth is there is no choice for me!” I too have called it a “roller coaster” I like the word “resiliance” and will begin using it, OK? I love the saying, “We are all born with a death sentence.” So true. The Buddhism is built around that premise, Attachment is the cause of our suffering. Nothing is permanant yet we hold on like forever is possible. And in doing so we miss the beauty of each day we do have available to us. Love you Kate!


  9. Thanks Kate for stoping me in my tracks and reminding me of the value and importance of optimism and resilience. I enjoyed greatly clicking on links and reading your numerous blogs from years past, so much to learn from your current and past words of wisdom. Like you I am a collector of quotes many of which I forget the source but love how they often pop into my head at the most unexpected times. “We can’t change the cards we are dealt but we can choose how we play the hand” it’s a choice. Do we focus on the emptiness of our glass or focus our energy on how we can refill it?? Resilience a power force thanks again for reminding me of that x ness


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