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When most of us fast forward to those last years of life we like to think that we'll "slip off the twig" in our sleep after the golden glow of a long and happy life, but for more and more people Dementia and strokes seem to blight those final years of life. So I thought I'd write down a few suggestions for how I like to be treated should I start to go Bonkers or, even worse, have a debilitating stroke or disease.
PLEASE DO NOT sit me in front of a TV from early morning! Over the years I have visited many nursing home and seen so many frail people planted in from of early morning TV with inane programs or cartoons! I would hate that even if I was mad! Find a window where I can see the world, or even better sit me in a garden where I can feel the breeze and let the flies tickle my face. If it rains, even better to feel the drops of water on my body: and does it really matter if I get a cold or pneumonia afterwards?
I've always loved trying different things so take me out to the beach, or lower me into a swimming pool: push my wheelchair to the edge of a cliff so that I can experience danger - even if it kills me! And don't worry about me being comfortable in a car - when you were kids we strapped you into seats and I'm sure you filled your nappy too on many a long trip.
Stick some ear phones on my head with music that you think I might like, pod-casts that may interest me, or just the sounds of nature on a cold and wet day. I may appear distant and dribble, but it's what happens deep inside that really counts now - and everything you do with love will be heard in the depths of my soul.
Let the little people near me - they have enormous, yet beautiful energy - and their vision often extends far beyond that of we myopic parents. If they tip me out of a chair or spill something on me - who cares - every blot will be a badge that I can marvel at, every bruise a vivid memory
Dare to believe that you can still connect with me because when I'm no longer here, I still want you to be able to maintain that connection - not for me, but for you because you will miss me just as I will be missing you.