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A dementia veteran.


Registered User
Feb 1, 2012
I’m a real dementia veteran. Been there, seen that, mopped it up. Nothing fazes me now. Or so I thought! Visiting to-day, I was told my wife had gone walk-about. Set off to find her, didn’t take long, here she came, limping slowly round the corner, dressed for a very cold winter's day, and clutching tightly, with both arms, a framed photograph of me. Not much to it, you would rightly think. Well, it unmanned this so-called veteran.


Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
How very poignant. It's the little things, I'm sorry Gringo but at the same time glad, if that makes sense?


Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
I'll bet it did, Gringo. Takes something like that to shock us, now. Love and courage, my friend. I'm glad at least that she wanted your photo near her.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
Oh my goodness Gringo. How that must have stopped you in your tracks. A wonderful and poignant moment I would have thought.

Sue J

Registered User
Dec 9, 2009
It seems she was set off to find you too Gringo and pleased she was when she did, I'm sure.xx


Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
Brixham Devon
Mike, apart from the shock I am guessing that it also upset you? By the time Pete was admitted to a CH I had sort of sadly got used to the fact that he didn't know I was his wife anymore-and hadn't for about 18 months. However, I also had a shock a couple of months before Pete passed away; he had another UTI and was passing a lot of blood and I stayed with him for about three hours waiting for the GP to arrive. After the GP had examined him (as best he could) Pete settled down and despite not having said anything coherent for ages he mumbled under his breath 'baby, baby' over and over again. That was the endearment Pete addressed me by. He just mumbled it again and again in his half asleep world.

To be honest I was terribly upset because I had got so used to Pete not knowing me. I was reconciled to him being in a CH (up to a certain extent) as not being as bad as if he knew who I was, or wanting to come home. But there he was saying something understandable. I sometimes think that however much we try to enter a Dementia sufferer's world we can't totally understand what is going on in their minds; how can we really? P. has more than likely some connection with you still-I don't know if that is some comfort to you or not?

My heart goes out to you and I'm sorry for my ramble. Just really trying to get across that I think I know how you feel.


Lyn T XX


Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
I'm sure that was, as has been said, quite bitter/sweet Gringo. But I have to say (apart from the shock of being told she had gone!) I do think it was lovely that your wife was obviously looking for you.

William has a sort of vague idea who I am, but hadn't known my name for a couple of years - he asked my name one day, and when I told him, wanted to know my surname! When told him that, he was astonished, saying "Ha! Same as me! No wonder I like you!" But on our wedding anniversary this year I gave him a card, which said "to my husband", and he examined that for ages, then he looked at me and tentatively said my name, as a sort of question - the first time in a couple of years he has got my name! It made my day, even if he "lost" me almost immediately again.

These things I think serve to remind us that snatches of the person we know and love is still there, somewhere.


Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
North West
Yes, Lady A. A neighbour asked after Sue when I made a rare appearance in the street this week. I was holding it together, explaining our new situation, when she asked me, 'Is the essence of Sue still there?' I couldn't speak then. Just had to nod, give a quick wave, and turn away.

As long as I feel that essence is there, however briefly it surfaces, I feel I can cope. As you say, 'Still there, somewhere.'


Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
Near Southampton
I felt similar to Lyn in that I felt that if Dave didn't know who I was, just a friendly person ( most of the time anyway!) , then he wouldn't be so upset about me leaving. The trouble was that as his communication was so very poor, I had no real idea if he did know me or not at any given time.
So I would have been very upset if I found him holding my photo - though I only left one of the two of us, in the home- and being sad. He couldn't walk of course so it wouldn't have been as for Gringo but if Mrs G was showing any sign of sadness or distress, then my heart really aches for both of you Gringo. xxx

Stanley, it aches for you too. So much said in your sentence. xxx

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