Living with dementia is like a sailor on a small boat drifting and being hit by never-ending thunderous waves. The emotional roller coaster within cuts deeply until you’re really exhausted. But I’m a hardened warrior who refuses to lose to this disease. I want to conquer these demons. And it’s only through the comforts within my home, and my active work in self-advocacy for dementia, that the turmoil can come to a halt.
Here are five reasons why I love staying home:
Beautiful world of reading
Before being diagnosed with dementia, I was an avid reader. I’ve probably read thousands of books. I love motivational and spiritual topics. Even though dementia has put me off reading, I have slowly picked up reading again. Currently I’m catching up on Sufism, and spirituality books and I’ve rekindled my love for reading. I spend two to three hours reading and practising what I’ve read through prayers and meditations.
Solace and inner peace through prayers
I perform my obligatory prayers five times daily. I love waking up between 3am to 4am for night prayers. Through this, I find solace and am united with the Almighty. Always find time to reflect and meditate. Dementia is like a demon waiting to be unleashed, and it will consume you if you don’t sustain your inner well-being.
Fun & loving time with grandson
Before the Circuit Breaker period brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, my grandson spent most of his day at the child-care centre. There were few hours of interaction with him. Now, due to the Circuit Breaker, I can interact with him daily. It’s such a joy playing with him, feeding him, and showering him. When he takes his afternoon nap, grandpa will do the same. Children can give persons living with dementia a sense of reality.
Keeping active with household chores
I used to love doing household chores. However, after being diagnosed with dementia three years ago, I stopped. My wife doesn’t allow me to cook, understandably, safety reasons. Now I get my daily adrenalin fix, vacuuming the apartment. I’ve a grandson and six cats living together, and I make sure there’s no cat fur affecting my grandson.
Getting my own groceries
I have Parkinson’s disease too and it’s difficult to walk despite using a walking stick. However, you can’t ignore the doctor’s advice, which is for me to brisk walk occasionally. So, thrice weekly, I head out with my trolley bag to the nearest supermarket, a 20-minute walk away from home. I really enjoy the fresh air but have to keep my face mask on! While I face many challenges, because of my Dementia and Parkinson’s, I remain optimistic and find ways to keep busy.
The contributor is a person living with dementia and an ADA Voices for Hope graduate and self-advocate.