Everyone knows that our lives would just be half as much fun without friends. Some friendships last forever; others just aren’t destined to survive longer than a year. Being confronted with dementia can often take a big toll on friendships, not only for the person with dementia but also for the caregiver. Tommy Whitelaw spoke to us about why friendship is important to him and what he learned while caring for his mum.
Thank you, Tommy, for speaking with us and being our friend! We agree: Friendships are incredibly important!
What have your experiences with dementia and friendships been like? Why are friendships important to you? Leave us a comment!
We also would like to use this blog post to thank our friends and families who supported us through the whole MindMate journey! We are very grateful.
One of our previous blog posts already touched on the subject of loneliness. Back then, we focused on the issue of people with dementia and elderly people being lonely. It is no surprise that loneliness is an equally big problem for caregivers. We asked Tommy about why this topic is so important and what can be done to help with loneliness.
Last week we heard about some of the positive takeaways Tommy had while caring for his Mum. This week we wanted to hear about his struggles and problems. A lot of you will definitely relate and we would love to read your comments about what the hardest part for you is or was. Are you asking for help? Watch Tommy tell us about his experiences:
We especially liked the end of his answer. It’s quite impressive how Tommy always finds a way to look on the bright side and already starts looking at solutions for the challenges ahead.
Loneliness and isolation seem to be big issues which is why next week’s Video Blog will be all about that.
Have a great week everyone!
by Gabriela Matic
The whole MindMate Team hopes that you had wonderful holidays and are looking forward to a great year ahead.
This is just a short blog post in which we want to wish you a wonderful 2016. We also want to share a little message that all of us should keep in mind, not only this year but at all times.
We’ve been speaking to a lot of people about their Christmas Holidays and what made them special. Not having to go to work or getting nice presents was mentioned but compared to a different factor all of this seemed secondary.
What makes the holidays and life in general worth living is the people we spend them with. Weather it is family or friends, most people we spoke to enjoyed being around individuals they care about. Sure, there are people out there who prefer to be alone, but statistics show that most of us don’t want to be. Last December, the Samaritans are said to have received 244,000 calls from people suffering from depression and stress across Britain and Ireland. The numbers have probably not decreased this year.
We are not the biggest fans of New Year’s resolutions, but what all of us should try to put in practice is a kind and caring way of life.
Starting from today, let’s reduce the number of people who will have to spend next Christmas alone. Let’s care about each other every single day of the year.
One great project for example is: http://www.beafriendtoday.org.uk/
It’s really more about kindness, then any other form of present.
One of my favourite short stories about a little different Christmas present is Harper Lee’s “Christmas to me/My Christmas in New York”. The world famous author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “ Go Set A Watchman“ gets a present of a lifetime.
"One lonely Christmas - stuck in New York City and unable to get home to Alabama to see her family - Harper Lee spent the holiday with friends... and received a Christmas gift that would end up being a present to the entire literary world."
Read it here: CLICK HERE TO READ THE SHORT STORY
We hope you had a great start into the year!
If you haven’t downloaded our App yet, do it here:
by Gabriela Matic
Can lonely make you ill?
Researchers say: Yes! Even if you feel happy in your solitude, studies associate social isolation and loneliness with increased mortality.
I have to admit that these recent headlines really left me with a bad conscience. It has been weeks since I've called my grandparents the last time, and you do feel like a terrible person when it takes a news article to remind you of that. Before you pick up the phone because you feel the same way, take a couple of minutes and make sure you understand why loneliness is a serious issue for all of us:
The problem of loneliness is especially present during Christmas time. Dr. Ishani Kar-Purkayastha wrote about Doris, an 82-year old completely healthy lady in 2010. Doris was about to be sent back home from the hospital two days before Christmas. She pretended to be sick in the hope to be able to stay longer. Doris stands for so many lonely elderly people that struggle to deal with their situation, not only during the Christmas celebrations.