Dementia
Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Living with dementia is not easy. It is a mixture of happiness and joy, sadness and grief, impossibility and new possibilities. As one person with dementia put it: ‘It’s more of a journey than a clear path.

Journeys are a bit messier than pathways!’ A journey is something we embark upon willingly or otherwise as we move from one place to another. Journeys are unpredictable, unique, person-centred, and always open to surprises.

A Winter Journey?

Along the way we meet people and encounter situations, some of which are helpful, others of which are not. Each encounter, every step, changes the direction and the feel of our journey. Some encounters can even change the meaning of our journey.

Sometimes the destination, like the road before us, can be pretty unclear. Sometimes the journey of people living with dementia and their supporters is closer to the winter journey of a displaced refugee than an organised summer hike!

Destination Matters

Nevertheless, the key thing about a journey is that we are always heading towards somewhere and something; not nowhere and nothing. Destination matters. Thinking of dementia as a journey keeps our eyes on the necessity to have in mind precisely what kind of destination we might desire.

The End Point of The Journey

Sometimes we think that the endpoint of the journey of dementia is simply death. But that is a mistake. The endpoint of the journey of dementia is to live well now and in the future.

Living well with dementia can be difficult. We need guides for our journey and people around us who will help us to live well in difficult circumstances. There is always a space for hope and that hope might be you.


prayer-to-make-icon

A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, we may forget many things in life, but You never forget us. Help us to remember that in times of struggle. Amen.’

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 103:13–17; Isa. 41:8–10; 1 Cor. 13:8–13; Heb. 6:10

Rev. Dr. John Swinton is founder of the university's Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability.