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Birthday wish: the woman who changed everyone's ideas about her dementia

People with dementia can be more resilient and comprehend more than nurses and family believe

People with dementia can be more resilient and comprehend more than nurses and family believe

Millie (not her real name) had such severe dementia that she remained in a foetal position in bed. She had no real awareness – she might make noises when turned and she would (usually) swallow food or fluid put in her mouth, but she didn’t really interact.

Difficult life

Millie had a difficult life. She had wanted to study medicine, but her family were unable to fund her education; instead, at age 14, she went into service to earn money for her family.

Married soon after turning 20, Millie quickly had children while continuing to work during the second world war. Her husband was in the RAF, but tragically lost his life. She always kept his photo by her bedside.

As Millie approached

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