Life on hold

9 Jun 2012

On online forums carers, and not just carers for people with dementia, complain about their life ‘being on hold’. It’s pretty obvious really  –  life is never on hold. The sun rises and sets, you get a day older, your life goes on. What people are really saying, I guess, is that they are unable to live the life they would wish because of the circumstances they find themselves in. But this is a feeling that many, many people have, not just carers. You could say that it’s part of the human condition, one of the things that makes us human even  –  it’s not a problem your cat has.

It’s more understandable maybe in carers than in whinging teens or workaholic thirty somethings who, in all likelihood, still have much of their life ahead of them (though we mustn’t forget that people of all ages can have caring thrust upon them).

There’s no solution of course  –  you’re bound to feel like this at times. But if you try to carry on finding life interesting, even the difficulties that you’re facing and possible ways of lessening them, and to get satisfaction from something that might in more normal circumstances might pass unnoticed, like seeing the person you are caring for laugh (if they can) or actually completing a task on your mental ‘to do’ list.

And then of course there’s music, friends, family, reading, memories……….

And that life that you could have been leading might not have turned out too well anyway.



My wife has a 'condition'. Many people who have to have labels would say she has dementia. She first attended a memory clinic in 2000, aged 52, and has suffered a marked decline recently. We have been trying to follow the advice of our Guru: 'Live a Good Life'. It's not easy but there doesn't seem to be any better advice around. I found myself saying to a friend that I would find my wife's condition very interesting if I wasn't so involved. I've realised now that I do find it, and the issues it raises, interesting. And that there's nothing wrong with that. It's one of the things that keeps me going. Not that I have any choice. I think more and more that I'm a very rational person (though I'm not claiming that I always behave rationally). I have to try and make sense of things. In my current situation, this is quite a challenge. We all need challenges, they say. I'm hoping this blog might help me, and maybe others, in some way. If I'm wrong, it won't last very long.

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