Karen's Poem - Dementia and a musical soul

11 October 2021

An older woman sitting in a chair smiling. She is holding on to the outstretched arms of another person who is out of the shot.

Karen works with us in our In Home and Community Support, Home Care Packages and Social Support Group teams. She commenced with healthAbility back in 2015 as a volunteer. Karen wrote this poem highlighting her experience with one of our Home Care Packages clients.

Kathy and Lisa are both healthAbility's Coordinators for our In Home Community Support service.

Kathy said "I have a lady I think you'll like

nearby in Plenty, so not much of a hike

Companionship and care will be your role,

Leigh* has dementia and a musical soul".

We hit it off in just two hours

from her garden she gifted me three camellia flowers.

I returned to see Leigh the following week

Somehow her outlook wasn't quite so bleak.

I said "What would you like to do today?"

"Lunch at a restaurant, is that okay?"

"Of course" I said with a grin on my face

"All you need to do is name the place".

To Greensborough I drove at her request

but first ensured she was warmly dressed.

Calamari she ordered with a white wine

at "Urban Grooves" we chose to dine.

"The meal was magnificent she said with a smile

I've not had Calamari for quite a while.

I'm ever so grateful to spend time with you

Have we time to get a bank statement too?".

"Yes, we'll go now, the banks not too far

Before the rain comes, quick let's get in the car".

Then to Peligra for coffee, cake and a chat

We spent half and hour talking about this and that.

On our way home she revealed to me

she's mostly alone and not often sees family.

"Well, we've had a great day" I said with a tear in my eye

Dropped her safely inside and said my goodbye.

Leigh asks the same questions each time we meet

as I walk through the living room to take a seat

I treat Leigh with respect and dignity as I take her hand

and know her brain's crumbling like falling sand.

Seven weeks have passed since that first day

Leigh has taught me a duet on the piano to play

I'll share her journey whatever that be

and battle through Dementia Leigh, family and me.

Just a thought for all who complain

I do agree lockdown is such a pain

but souls with Dementia live life in despair

and rarely meet people with time willing to share.

"Is that it?" I said with fear in my heart

as my brother and I witnessed mum depart.

Dementia took her from us and we are alone

but her wish and ours was granted she died safe at home.

You see Kathy's spirit is not easily lead

She chooses her carers with both heart and head

With Lisa her colleague they pick clients with Dementia

and pass onto carers to share a most usual adventure.

What a wonderful service healthAbility provide

With all three departments working side by side.

Home Care Packages, In Home Community Support and SSG**

Caring for people in our community!

*Names have been changed to protect client's privacy.

*SSG - Social Support Groups, is now known as Connect Well Groups.

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