Today – a poem by Jan Millward

Jan Millward is an amazing Activities Coordinator and writer, working in Dorset who regularly writes about her observations. She published the following poem  just after I wrote about individuality in dementia care. It really struck a cord with me!

Thanks to Jan Millward for permission to reproduce here:


Today I’m feeling sleepy
and I want to have a rest.
Please leave me in my nightie,
I don’t want to get dressed.

I don’t want to play some bingo,
I can’t think of anything worse.
I want to sit here reading quietly
my little book of verse.

I’m feeling a bit lonely,
I would like to have a chat.
I don’t want to join in painting,
I never did like that.

I think I should be worried,
I don’t know what I’m doing.
But don’t sit me at the table,
I hate colouring and gluing.

Don’t leave me by the window,
with the others stuck in chairs.
I don’t know how to tell you,
I need someone who cares.

I am scared about my future,
the road ahead seems bleak.
I think and feel as normal
but I don’t know how to speak.

But if you really knew me,
you’d know just what to do.
You’d see me as a person
you’d stop me feeling blue.

You’d know I once was married
and I lived up on the Wolds,
with my two lively children
with no thought of growing old.

You’d find I loved the opera,
and you’d play my favourite tune.
You’d give me back my sparkle
and help me dance around the room.

You could chip away my worries,
and give me a reason to smile.
Because all the greatest carers
will go the extra mile.

But I am like a prisoner,
I no longer feel I’m free.
You can really try to help me
if you look to find my key.

Because I am still a person
with hopes and fears and dreams.
You may see an old frail body
but inside my soul still gleams.

So take the time to know me,
please seek and you will find.
The way to make me happy,
please peek inside my mind.

Those little caring gestures,
can change my world around.
and give me back a purpose,
My path can still be found.

Many thanks to Jan Millward© and NAPA Living Life for sharing.

NAPA Living Life on Facebook


Author: ReminiScent

I write about using the senses to improve quality of life for people living with dementia. The sense of smell, in particular, is very important to me personally. My career in the perfume industry turned me into a fragrance enthusiast and the 5 years I spent as the main carer for Shirley, my mother who lived with dementia for 10 years, taught me the value of creating moments of joy to anyone living with this disease. I hope that, through ReminiScent and my writing, I can increase awareness of how small actions can make a big difference.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s