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Tuesday 5 May 2015

Life Memories by J. R. Hopkins

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are conditions we hope will never afflict our loved ones—more specifically, our more aged loved ones—or us. Either way, it causes a lot of stress and distress, in particular for the carers.

This author was one of those carers. She looked after her mother for the last two years of her life, when she was suffering from dementia. This was a serious commitment at a time when Hopkins had a number of other major worries in her life. Determined not to be beaten by what life was throwing at her, she sought to take a glass-half-full approach and squeezed some happy memories out of an unhappy situation, but very particularly from the time she spent with her mother.

She stresses that the experience can be tough, it can be frustrating, it can be exhausting, and it can be sad to watch someone you love change from being the person who looked after you to one who needs to be looked after BY you. BUT, it’s also about finding some humour, some happiness, some lightheartedness so that when you lose someone you love, you aren’t left with unwelcome memories.

This may not be a book you would pick up to read unless you were in a similar position or wanted to help someone the same situation. However, even if you aren’t, you can draw inspiration from the author’s strength of character in the face of some pretty unpleasant circumstances.

This account contains tender, poignant and sad moments, but don’t worry; there are many instances in which you find the corners of your mouth twitching into a smile.

This book is not only about how to care for someone with dementia, it’s also about looking on the bright side of life.

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