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Just walk with me

People will know that my favourite book about dementia by someone with dementia is Robert Davis’ ‘My Journey into Alzheimer’s Disease’. I have said it often and will continue to say it. And the most powerful quote is:

‘Do not talk or try to understand me – the fussing makes it more difficult. Just walk with me’. (Something like that).

It is my favourite because it is quiet and humble – honest reflections of difficulties encountered and ways of coping and ways that do not help – which I recognise from patients seen over 50 years of sharing their lives.

Luke came to our health walk for the first time this week. Handsome, dapper in his peaked cap and smart jacket, matching trousers and clean boots. Every inch a gentleman – an easy and willing smile and communication of pleasure to be amongst and accepted as an equal by others. A shrewd comment when the words would allow it.

We walk for less than two miles, exploring local roads, paths and greenspaces. Just now the changes in the weather and the rush of blossoms provide entertainment in themselves – birdsong is their natural accompaniment. And doing this together adds another dimension.