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Life After…Life Still?

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

This poem was written by Year 1 Clinical Psychology trainees at the University of Liverpool after a virtual teaching session with Tommy Dunne. Tommy was talking to them about the experience of living with dementia.

A diagnosis of dementia is like being on a treadmill,

You have to keep walking just to stand still.

Some days you run, some days you walk,

Annoyingly other people won’t let you talk.

Sometimes you feel anxious, depressed and lonely.

Sometimes it feels like no one knows me.

It’s like grief, anger, shock and disbelief.

For others it could actually be a relief.

The circles of my life were slowly shrinking,

But post diagnostic groups got me thinking.

I found it hard to differentiate between pound and pence,

All of a sudden life didn’t make sense.

Having dementia isn’t just about memory,

It effects cognition, perception and everything sensory

Just because I have dementia, don’t assume I can’t speak.

Just because I have dementia don’t assume life is bleak.

Just remember that I am still a human.

Check me out propa boss with my zoomin!

Trying to adapt, using my dementia card,

I didn’t know society would make it feel this hard.

Behind my behaviour there is always a reason,

Ignoring this would be high treason!

I didn’t feel like I could contribute to society anymore,

I realised I was wrong,

My hope was restored.

The help and support from the psychology team,

Made such a difference for my family and self-esteem.

So please make sure you involve me in my dementia care,

As that will empower me in all that I dare.

Life after a diagnosis felt dark and not right,

However, “We need both positive and negative to turn on the light”.

So thank you Tommy for opening all of our eyes,

To support people with dementia to live fulfilling lives.

By James, Kate, Jelena, Aisling, Rachel, Jennifer.

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