A carer in one of our homes, now retired, tells about the time she was sitting with two elderly ladies in one of our homes, helping one to eat and encouraging the other.  The conversation went something like this:

Dora (to Gertie):  ‘I’ve seen you somewhere before.’

Gertie:    ‘Have you?  I don’t remember seeing you.’

Dora:  ‘I know your face.’

Gertie:  ‘Where did we meet?’

Dora:   ‘When we were on earth.’

Gertie:  ‘Oh, where are we now?’

Dora:  ‘In heaven.’

Gertie (with tears in her eyes):   ‘I am so glad!’

Then they both stood up and hugged each other.

‘A never to be forgotten little scene.’ wrote the carer.  Even though their dementia was advanced enough for them to need residential care, both ladies were so safe and contented they felt they were in Heaven.  This is how people with dementia should be cared for.  (You can see a short video of the home, taken not so long ago, on YouTube, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1_K2D6oC08.

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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