I have written a book and there are lots of steps to go through before the book can finally be published and I get a box of books arrive on my doorstep!
Having chosen the title, the next important issue is choosing the images that should be on the front cover. I heard a comment that lots of pictures about dementia are either hands or bedsheets and nothing is cheerful. I get the point about the lack of cheerfulness, but the hands are important to me! I’ve chosen hands.
The reason I chose hands is because lots of times I have visited clients and they have begun to cry. It is a comforting and human response to hold their hand whilst they gather their resources. It is a connecting gesture. It is pretty much the same across all genders, cultures and races, it is something that works.
And because it has happened to me so often, it is important. There are a couple of crucial clients where I have held their hand, which made it really clear to me that these were the images that I wanted. I met one client, who was barrier nursed in hospital (long before covid), it meant she had an infection and I was required to wear gloves and an apron and any pen or paperwork that she touched needed to be cleaned with strong antibacterial cleaner. She was alone in a side room, sitting doing puzzles, as there was no TV, it was a lonely sight. I had been asked to sort out an issue for her, which had upset her. Because of her infectious state, people had minimal contact with her. When she started to cry and tell me what happened to her, not only did I comfort her over her situation, I was also one of the few, if not only people who were willing to touch an infected patient for more than just dealing with her needs. It was one of those humbling and universally human moments of connection and kindness and I will never forget it.
So, I have chosen a series of pictures of hands, hands of different age, different colour, different culture, different gender to try to show how universal dementia is. I looked at hundreds of images and chose 6, but in the editing process I might use less. I chose the diversity because it is intended to reflect that dementia can affect anyone.
My book will shortly be published, I am in the process of finalising the details of its publication and will provide more information shortly. I am very excited about this project and have learnt a lot along the way. Stay tuned for more information………..