THE BENCH mark for care standards in Thurrock is made by Christian Care Homes over in Stanford-le-Hope. Their most recent report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) gave the home led by Mico Bienvenu a three star rating.
We will be interviewing Mico later in the week but for now, we would like to publish a poem by Mico entitled “I’m Still Me”
“I feel a bit confused, muddled up and keep forgetting, where I am, who I am and what
I’m supposed to do.
I cannot understand the gradual change in me as I know I used to be very much in
control of everything.
In fact I have raised a family, had a responsible job and have been a leading figure in
the local community.
I now feel a bit silly and am scared to tell my family and friends although I know they too
have noticed some changes in me. They sometimes ask ‘what is the matter with you,
you keep forgetting things’
I desperately try to cover up my shortcomings but know that sooner or later things may
get worse. I sometimes don’t want to go out, have a wash and change and feel very low
due to the changes in me.
I am really scared about the future. I have heard of this dreadful condition called
Dementia and how people’s lives are destroyed by it. However, I am determined not to
give in without a struggle. In fact, I am ready for a long battle and I want you to join me –
Don’t be frightened for I am still me even though my behaviour may change at times.
This is because I don’t seem to be connected at times, feel muddled up. I want you to
understand that I still have life in me. My past is intact, my present is what I am going
through and my future is what I will be. In spite of these changes, I am still me. Please
do not ignore me or hide away from me for it could be you one day.
I still want to be loved, feel special and have my family and friends around me. I may
appear a bit odd, not grateful or oblivious to my surroundings but please believe me
deep inside I know what is going on around me.
The trouble is that at times, I can’t express my fears, joys, hope and appreciation. However, now and again
you might be able to see a glimpse of the old me. This I hope will be enough to remind you that I am
still me and I am here with all my emotions.
I am not a baby, although you may feel that I act like one at times. I am a grown up
human being. Sometimes I want to wake up and get out of this dreadful nightmare. It is
a bit like being in a maze and not being able to find my way out. Thank God, you are
there to guide and help me.
Be patient, kind, tolerant and loving to me please. I am lost
without you. Tell my family and friends that I am still me and I desperately need them to
understand what I am going through.
Have you noticed sometimes you give me food and drink and I just sit there gazing at it
not knowing what to do as if I don’t want it. Of course I am very hungry but the trouble is
that I forget what I am meant to do with the food and drink. At times I can’t even
recognize the cutlery. Please help me to feed myself.
I call for my Mum and Dad at times, this is because it reminds me of my past when they
made me feel secure and loved. I suppose now and again I go back in my life and
emotions take over and I need to be comforted.
Do not tell me that my Mum and Dad are dead, it upsets me. I only want you to talk to
me, make me feel secure and loved as this reminds me of them. I am not crazy or daft, I
know they are dead but at times I can’t help feeling their presence, affection, kindness
and I desperately need you to comfort me.
Some of you may look at me and wonder whether I would be better dead than alive.
Hey, watch what you say for I am still very much alive and want to carry on living as
long as I can. I may seem to be slow, withdrawn, incoherent, irritable, tearful and
disconnected but I can feel, see, hear, smell and love. I am still me.
When I am sad, jolly, angry or tearful please bear with me. It is normal to express such
emotions. Just stay beside me even if you have nothing to say I know you are there and
Having attempted to explain to you how I feel and what I am going through right now, I
do hope you will understand me better and will help me in my journey. Please come on
board, join me and stay by my side throughout.
There will be ups and downs, joys and
tears, but I can promise you we will have lots of fun because I love you too and
appreciate your help, kindness and understanding.
Thank you, please one last thing I must say, remember it could be you one day and how
would you feel if others think you are no longer you.”