Practising for my dementia

I’m sat with three demented old women, one with a Zimmer frame, and one old man in a wheelchair doing exercises with a pom poms in each hand.

“Pom poms up,” says Kasia, our Polish activity director.

“Now shake you pom poms.”

I do so, and I enjoy it. The Beach Boys Good Vibrations is playing loudly.

“I’m pickin’ up good vibrations

She’s giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Good vibrations, oom bop bop)

She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop).”


“Now lift your right leg. How high can it go? Very good, Hazel. Can you go higher, Richard?” I’m proud that I can, although it’s not much higher.

I returned from a walk with Hazel, my mother, and Kasia was running the exercise session in the large living room. Hazel joined in, and it would have seemed churlish of me not to. Plus I’m keen to begin to get the feel of dementia, a state (I avoided the word fate) that awaits me.

The sun is shining. Nobody looks unhappy. We’re all concentrating on Kasia’s commands, which are comfortably undemanding. The Beach Boys are singing. Afterwards there will be tea and a biscuit.

“Shake you pom poms higher, higher.”

The next morning I read these words of Plato: “No man when conscious attains to true or inspired intuition, but rather when the power of the intellect is fettered in sleep or by disease or dementia.”

I’m ready.


I’m ready.


2 thoughts on “Practising for my dementia

  1. Thank you for the dementia blogs. We are lucky to still have four parents alive aged 88, 91, 93 and 94 though sadly all four have dementia wending its various ways. It’s grim but we are comforted by finding a world of care and carers we didn’t know or understand before, and by the insigjts and “funny things that happen on the way” as you describe….


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