Walking a mile in another's shoes

Visiting people living with dementia, rather than assisting their carers, was an unusual experience for Carol Brindley.  

This morning I am visiting a person who has dementia.

Working with carers, rather than clients, this is unusual for me. I facilitate training courses for relatives of people diagnosed with memory problems; professional presenters offer communication tips, hints on understanding new behaviours and ideas for stimulation. I meet more than 100 carers a year.

Today I am walking in their shoes.

A tiny, neatly dressed woman sleeps in a recliner chair. ‘Wake up, love, Carol’s here,’ her husband whispers. I touch her arm gently and say hello. Her eyes open and she tries to focus, but I am a stranger and she doesn’t acknowledge me.

'I try to prevent the water spilling, but her eyes narrow and she feigns sleep'

Her husband goes out. I look around for inspiration. I spot some dominoes and empty them on to the


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