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Three little words….

Perhaps the word most associated with dementia is that of suffering. “Dementia Sufferers” is the phrase most commonly used in the press to describe people who live with dementia.The implication is that suffering is what defines dementia, that suffering is a necessary and continuous part of the condition.

We have known for some time that dementia is not defined by suffering, and that the physical and social environment that we create can help people to live well with dementia and minimise suffering. At Rose Lodge we talk a lot about well-being and using well-being as a measure of how well we support our residents.

We have been reluctant to use the H-word though. HAPPYNESS. It seems too much to aim for, too high a bar to set. Well-being Yes, living well with dementia Yes. But happiness ? Can people with dementia really be happy ? After all, how many of us can say they are happy for anything other than a fleeting moment ?

So nothing is more powerful and satisfying to us than to hear these simple words from the family of our residents, especially when they have struggled to find the right environment for them:

“He/she is happy”

We have heard those three magic words a couple of times times this week.

This week has been a good week.

Let’s start talking about happiness.

One Response to “Three little words….”

  • Ruth Grigg:

    It means a lot to me to see my mum (Doreen) happy! We come along way to see her when we visit, and it is important to us that she is safe, well and happy… it was hard for us to let her go and live so far away from us, because we have always lived near each other and seen each other regularly…. but I am so pleased she is there now, and that she is active and happy!

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