Living with Dementia

An inspirational extract from a blog by Bruce Bane

Dementia and Conversation

“I think people take conversation for granted. Not me. That’s because I’m not good at it anymore; I’m not good at holding up my end of a conversation. I don’t know what to say next or I don’t know where the conversation is going or I get stuck on one part of the conversation or my response is off topic. Some of this depends on how well I know the person, how well I know what we’re talking about, or how well I’m feeling. For whatever the reason I’m not a good conversation partner anymore.

Even the simple questions, “How are you?” or “How do you feel” are hard to answer. I could say “Pretty good,” or “Not bad,” or “Okay,” but none of those are true because I don’t really know how to tell you how I am. I can usually tell you if I feel tired or if I have some pain, but there’s so much more that I can’t put words to (or put the right words to). Specific questions might help, but to leave me to figure it out on my own is confusing and frustrating. Anita suggested I just be honest and say “I don’t know.” And she’s right; that tells it how it is. And it’s a request to help me figure it out.

But what I want to tell you is this: enjoy the little conversations you have during the day. Whether they’re just time fillers or conversations with friends, don’t take them for granted. Instead, see them as little gifts waiting for you each day.”