My Dear Friend Marion

So many children visit Care Homes these days, since they are more and more likely to have a grandparent with dementia residing there. I decided it would be a nice idea to donate a copy of my book The Forgetful Elephant to several local Care Homes, as a resource for families who are finding it difficult to explain dementia to their young child.

One of the Care Homes which received a copy is now home to a lovely lady called Marion, who I supported for 2 years during my time as a Home Support Worker with Alzheimer Scotland. I visited Marion at her home and took her shopping. We had some lovely lunches and days out together. Needless to say, during that time I became very fond of her, and she was just like another mum to me. I hadn’t seen Marion for well over a year and didn’t know if she would remember who I was, but I decided to ask the Manager if it was ok to spend some time with her.

When I entered the lounge area, Marion had her back to me and was just getting out of her chair. As she turned around to walk to the door she saw me, and with a huge smile on her face said “Oh my, long time no see! It’s lovely to see you”. She came over and gave me a big cuddle and began to tell me all about this new place where she now lives. I sat with her for a while and enjoyed listening to her stories, just like old times. When I was leaving, she walked me to the door and waited until I drove away in my car, waving to me just like she always used to do. It felt so good to be with her again and to see her looking so well.

I had often thought about visiting Marion when I heard that she had gone in to the Care Home, but thought that after such a long time she wouldn’t remember me. How wrong I was, and how wrong are we all to decide what someone with dementia may or may not remember? A simple visit can make someone’s day, and what if they don’t remember you? It’s worth taking the chance, just in case they do.

My visit to Marion made me realise that there’s a little word which can mean the world to someone, and which we shouldn’t hesitate to say: Hello.

Take a moment today to say Hello to someone who may be lonely. Please share your comments below.

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