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Thoughts and Opinions

My dad: A man in a woman's world


Beth BrittonThe fact that dementia disproportionally affects women didn't come as any surprise to me. In the last nine years of my dad's life with dementia he was surrounded by women, most notably myself and my mum, but also my half-sister, fellow care home residents who were predominantly female, visitors to his three care homes who were mostly women, female care workers, nurses, doctors, physios, chefs, housekeeping staff, activity co-ordinators, entertainers and therapeutic practitioners.  read more ...

Women's identity: who cares?


But for me the greatest tragedy of dementia is its effect on identity and relationships.

And I would suggest that society more readily grasps the loss of identity experienced by men – living with dementia or in a caring role - because it equates the man's self with his public role: doctor, engineer, lawyer, sportsman, driver, head teacher, famous author. Something active and respected, the loss of which is visible to the outside world....  read more ...

Images of dementia


Lorna's mumWhen my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 66, one of the clear thoughts that stood out amongst the jumble of emotions knocking me sideways was that I would not now witness her with dementia. My maternal grandmother had developed dementia, as had her mother. I hadn't known either of these close relatives but woven through the accounts of family health were threads of dementia and the suggestion that this 'illness' was sewn into the genes of the female line....  read more ...

Counted but not counting? Women's experience of dementia


Jo MoriartyAnna placed the peeled boiled egg on a napkin in front of the woman and said, 'You must be hungry. Eat!' The woman looked up at Anna and a faint smile appeared beneath the deep creases of her face. She took hold of the egg, and continuing to gaze into Anna's eyes, her head fell forward gently, then back, blinking her eyes slowly. Anna nodded in approval and smiled proudly.

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