Dementia poetry.


Hello all,

I have been a young(ish!) caregiver for my mother-in-law, who suffers from dementia, for the last three years now.

I am in the process of creating a new poetry site primarily aimed at carers, but also people with dementia as well.

The blog is an honest account of my experience of caring over the last few years in poems - some silly, some exasperated, some happy, some sad - of my last three years caring for my mother-in-law, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, and is aimed at helping to support other caregivers in a similar position.

DG x

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Another by stepmom:

One Silver Moment

Out of the dust, floating,
a shining moment rose. . .

Your faded eyes warmed
with recognition.
Reaching out from the vast greyness
where you were imprisoned,
your hand, thin and trembling,
touched my cheek.
Your voice straining yet firm, you whispered
"You know - I love you".

Then grey folded you back
in its envelope.
Awareness dissolved again
to dust.

This is my silver moment now. . .
rolling through the hallways
of my emptiness.

Not by me, but by my stepmom, about my father:

Invalidated farewell

I watch in tender desperation
as corners of your thoughts
unfasten, fall, dissolve
like wintered-over leaves
composting in a pile

I wash your threaded body
guide small-piece suppers
to your weak, obedient mouth
its passive smile
innocent acceptance

I cry, not for the burden
but for the emptiness
as fog embalms
your eyes
shrouding identity, location

I'm nudged at times
by gentle pangs
that you are blanketed
in contentment

while I am the one
who is lost

Blue eyes no longer
Lovingly, sparkle and shine
Please, look into mine

Sad eyes looking through me
how sad my eyes will look,when this is through

Patience hurts so very much
So very much I will hurt when I lose my patient

caring for the one i love, and missing out,
I will miss out on caring for the one I love

She doesn't look up when I enter the room.
I know she knows I'm there
Is she still there?

I quietly sit down so as not to disturb
She keeps her eyes closed
I don't think she's sleeping

Is she thinking back to the times of her youth?
What does she think about?
Does she remember the times of her youth?

She looks up and smiles, a sad smile.....
I know she is happy to see me
I chat for a while

She doesn't say much but she nods quite a bit
I hold her hand but she doesn't squeeze back
Does she feel the love I am trying to convey?
I can't hug her anymore, she might crumble away

I stay for four hours
It passes quite fast
Will this be the last time I see her?
Does she see me?

I kiss her cheek
I try not to cry
Until our next visit
Then I say Good Bye

What do you see mom, what do you see
what are you thinking when you look at me?
A friendly young woman you've seen once before
A caregiving friend
but not anything more?

Please open your eyes, you're not looking at ME
Do you know I'm the child you once bounced on your knee
Whose heart now is breaking since you no longer see?
Have you lost all the time that made up your past?
Are the memories all severed, did anything last?

Are your dreams filled with laughter and long ago friends
is your body remade there, are you young once again?
Do you re-live the seasons, do you hold someone's hand:
oh I hope there is comfort somewhere in dreamland!

To outlive mind and body is such a cruel joke,
just another poor patient that the aides prod and poke -
Made to rise in the morning without any say
in the things that you'll do till the end of the day
when finally at night you're tucked back into bed
...surely to god you'd be better off dead.

Still, I'll offer you comfort as best as I can...
Come for a visit – just hold your hand,
I lotion the skin now so wrinkled and dry
and I brush back the tear from the edge of my eye.
I'll bring news of your loved ones, share the magic of Spring,
do my best to bring pleasure from many small things.

For I know that inside that old body must dwell
the soul that will last 'til tolls life's final bell.
And I try to believe that one day in heaven you'll see
all those left to mourn you, and you'll really see ME.

Jude, condolences on the loss of your dear mum, sorry for your pain and grief. Thank you for your many contributions to AC even while you were in the trenches of caregiving life. May your personal faith and the memory and love of your mum sustain you during your time of grief. ♡

Thinking of you, Jude, and wishing Godspeed to your mother. Keep in touch xxx

Your strength and determination and your caring heart have been evident in your posts as you shared your journey as a caregiver, your poem is a poignant eulogy. I'm sorry for your loss.

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