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The 'fog' of dementia and other metaphors

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Topics: 
communication, dementia awareness, men and dementia

On bad days it’s like living in a fog.

If you talk about metaphors, whilst it’s easy exaggerate using metaphors, I think it can be useful to give people insight into my world of living with dementia. One metaphor I use is about the fog. Which on bad days it’s like living in a fog, on good days – and there are more good days than bad – the sun shines and life is much clearer.  

The other metaphor is about the hole punch, which is where the memory and something you’re trying to do: it’s as if someone has got a hole punch and punched holes in what you’re trying to do or look at or remember. Sometimes there are few holes, sometimes there are lots, sometimes is almost entirely obscured by holes. 

The third one which people like to use is the Swan. Often people think you’re doing well – you’re  coping well, because they only see what’s on the surface like a Swan: serene and majestic on  the surface and below the surface paddling madly.  

The fourth metaphor, one which has occurred to me recently, is about mining, which might surprise people. In studying my family history it became clear that I have mining – coal mining – in my roots. I have recently thought that there is a link between my current thinking around living with dementia. This is because living with dementia is sometimes like digging a new mine and  posting pit props to support safe movement in the mine. The props are like a support I receive  which allow me to be safe and confident. Remove the props and the mine cracks. Very much  like my ability to live as well as possible.  

An audio version of this blog is available at: https://soundcloud.com/dementia-diaries/keith-3-nottingham-uni

 

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