Our attitude is important

From the blog, Memory for two:

For the first three months after Ash’s diagnosis (and many months/years leading up to it) I was cross with him and at the world for not giving me the life I was expecting.

As a result Ash was permanently in a state of turmoil and really struggled to cope with life which put us in a downward spiral of distress and chaos.

Once I understood the effect my attitude was having on him and changed the way I behaved the difference in him was almost instantaneous. He was calmer, interested in life around him, remembered people etc etc.

Even now if I’m having a bad day his dementia is much worse so I stay calm as much as I possibly can but as much for my sake as his.”

Dementia is not for sissies, for sure, and anyone who is supporting someone diagnosed with dementia is definitely an Angel.

I do however, think ‘our’ attitude (the person diagnosed AND their partner or the person supporting them) makes a huge difference.

16 thoughts on “Our attitude is important

  1. Absolutely, but all credit to Ash’s carer for recognising this. In my past life when I worked with people with a disabi,ity and their carers, as a psychologist, we’d refer to parallel escalation, which is what tnis lady is describing.


  2. Thanks for sharing Kate. I realised early on when mum was diagnosed with dementia 8 years ago that she had limited control over her emotions and reactions to situations. I on the other hand had full control over my emotions and attitude to challenges so completely relate to this blog. Hope all is well with you old boiler x ness


  3. Hello Kate

    Never thought of myself as an Angel. I try my best for my mum ( Vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s). Sometimes though meltdown mangles my emotions and looking up I see a monster in the mirror staring back at me or is it a Fallen Angel. Self recrimination follows the guilt …self pity and weeping. Pick up, dust off and begin again, slowly ( can’t fly because Angels don’t have wings ). Caring is ….sometimes difficult and scary like dancing with a ghost in a haunted ballroom other times powerful and strangely uplifting for mum and me. Enough said….Steve


    • A fallen angel, perhaps occasionally. Never a monster I’m sure. Supporting someone with dementia, or indeed any terminal illness is one very tough gig for everyone! Take care x


  4. Indeed Kate, when we can’t change our external circumstances, our attitude towards the causes of our suffering is all the agency we have. And although to some people this may look like nothing or unimportant, how we approach our own reality can make the difference between a life worth living and a life in deep despair. Thank you for sharing this. It’s such a precious, attainable wisdom…


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