a poem from my own experiences as a support worker, through the eyes of a service user with dementia. all facts are based on true experiences but not from one person, some small details are changed.
I used to like flowers
I know I did, but the street up the road with the flower shop on doesn’t look the same anymore, so I don’t go.
In fact, I don’t remember what it ever looked like-
It’s a never ending game in my mind and
I find it particularly confusing.
In fact I feel confused almost all the time and
I’m never knowing why
People play these silly games with me, acting as if that’s normal,
As if I always have two sugars in my tea. I mean,
I do, but how does she know?
I don’t know who she is, but she’s in my house again.
I can’t remember how she got in or what she said her name was.
Nobody is familiar these days but I can’t tell them that
Because they’ll think I’m crazy.
I get angry because she thinks she knows me,
But how can she know me if i don’t know her?
I try to be nice, I really do,
But she just doesn’t understand it’s her with the problem.
I don’t understand why a stranger knows her way around my home.
I can’t communicate so I cry.
This girl is gentle and so polite.
I begin talking but words don’t make sense.
In fact, not a lot makes sense.
There’s nothing wrong with me though, I feel great and
I’m happy as can be.
I’ve lived here almost sixty years, I tell her that because I’m proud.
She speaks about my daughter sometimes.
That’s it! She must be a new friend of hers.
But then I realise she is wearing a nurses outfit.
Is my daughter ill?
Where is my daughter?
Probably upstairs playing games, I’ll call her down for lunch soon.
My daughter’s friend hands me three tablets in a little pot.
I become confused and angry, I start crying out of nowhere again.
An older woman comes through the door.
She looks familiar, and so I stare.
Oh she must be my daughter’s friend’s mother!
But why is she in my house?
She’s holding my favourite flowers.
‘Hello Mum,’ she says as she kisses me on the head.
I can feel my face scrunching into a ball of confusion.