An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

                                                      a carer writes

Poetry                Ross Dementia Meeting Centre - Home page here

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  1. The use of poetry
  2. On My Father's Dementia
  3. A Caregiver's Response
  4.  Those hands that once held mine

1   The use of poetry

The use of poetry includes these aspects:

  1. Carees read and write poetry

  2. Carers read and write poetry

  3. Carers help their carees to write poetry 
  4. They read and write poetry together

  5. Poets visit, read and discuss their poetry.  

  6. Poets visit, and with group permission, put members' words into poetry.  

  7. Better still, help your DIY DMC participants put their own words into their own poems - with expert help as appropriate.

Establish interest with a short session. Ask everyone if they would like a visit. The point about poet visits is that they come first.

Embarking on writing poetry without the skills needed to help others is not recommended.  If you decide that reading poetry is enough, be prepared for "We want to write our poems.".

A      I'm in this home. They put me here. more

    Living With Dementia here

C     More from Google to be added.

By now you, the carer, ponders.  How will the X poem help my caree?

By now, you the caree, wonders. How will the Y poem help my carer see me? 

2   On My Father's Dementia

                                                                                                                                             source with other poems

3    A Caregiver's Response

4    Those hands that once held mine

When I was knee high, I was immortal
Because my Mum always held my hand
I knew no harm would come to me
In this, the safest place in the land

Her hands were always there to guide me
To show me where to go
Her hands were forever knitting
To keep us warm in Winter’s snow

They were there to wave me off
Each morning when I left for school
Because you know she wouldn’t let me
Grow up to be no fool

Later when I took a hand in marriage
With new little hands to hold in mine
She was always there when needed
To take their hands and give us time

For many years they still held strong
Wrapping presents as each birthday came along
Giving out big hugs at Christmas
In the growing family throng

But then they started to become unsure
Not remembering what to do
So I knew that it was my time
To hold her hand and help her through

We walked so many miles
In corridors hand in hand
I just hope that in her own mind
We were walking in the sand

But then that week I held her hand
And it slipped away one last time
And now they’re in a better place
Those hands that once held mine

by Dean Harrison in memory of Patricia Shelton)  here

                                                                                         source with other poems

5  Start thinking


Some days are good and some quite bad,
But either way, when my end comes I’ll not be sad.
My brain has gone, now left this place.
I have passed on, the next world I shall embrace.   here and 1 A  


Which other poems here include death (and care homes, for that matter)?  They are here to ensure you don't fall into the trap of the poems being moving and giving them to your participants.  

Perhaps there is a carer going through pre-bereavement.  

A  You don't delve.

B  You refer the carer to the GP or other specialist.


There are times she's quite alert,
Her memory's still intact.
Then there are days when she disappears,
And we know it's not an act.                                    1 B   Living With Dementia here

This type of poem is more relevant but, remember that you are not treating.  Your role is to make the time spent in this session enjoyable with an element of therapy - no more.  When in doubt - leave it out.


Carers and carees should not be encouraged to view this page.  Its aim is to encourage forward thinking if and when poetry is included in your programme.  

Decisions made collectively do not mean that blame for anything which goes wrong is shared.  


Another decision involves encouraging your DIY DMC participants to bring examples from the Internet. 

 I C  was   "More from Google to be added."  Beware of minefields.

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