Teen carer writes moving poem about effects of dementia

A Scottish teenager has written a moving poem about the effects of dementia - after both her grandparents suffered from the illness.

Isla is from Aberdeenshire.
Isla is from Aberdeenshire.

16-year-old Isla-Jane Reid, from Aberdeenshire, works in a local care home alongside her school studies.

She said: “Dementia is something that I see nearly everyday and there needs to be more awareness and how to care for someone with dementia, but also how they may feel inside.”

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“The Alzheimer Society put my poem up on their website and social media where it was a hit with 900 likes and over 400 shares. I was advised by many people that my poem should be put up in every care home, hospital surgery and A and E.

“I also would like this as I want to help raise awareness of dementia. I’m still at the school doing higher and my main goal is to become a trained nurse when I’m older and would love to work in the dementia side.”

Miss Reid’s poem:

Who am I

Once a young girl with dreams of her own, now an old lady sitting alone.

Depending on others, oh what’s happened to me?

I wish I could dance sing and be young and free.

As I sit here beside the window and watch people go by, I know they feel awkward and I do wonder why.

But don’t stay away, come back tomorrow- But what do you really see when you look at me?

Is my hair bold beaming brown or is it like cotton whiteballs.

You think its just big clumps of makeup

But really its just the wrinkles.

Once walked tall but now slightly bowed.

I’m not an old crabby lady sitting here, a friendly smile always makes my day as the hours don’t seem too long to pass away.

Come closer, come closer and you’ll see me.

I may have a disease called Dementia its changing me But it’s only a name, I am still the same.

I may forget most things

But please understand it’s not my fault dementia controls my brain.

I can’t recognise your face but I

know the sound of the soft sweet voice that it’s someone special.

Your day is not just filled feeding and toileting me sit beside me and tell me that you’re here.

Don’t lose patience, make time; I can still hear you.

I know what your thinking when you see me.

Dementia is not all about the doom and gloom, I can still laugh, I can still cry, just give me some time.

I used to remember before dementia got my brain.

Used to be the woman who could do anything Now the woman who can’t do the simplest of things.

I don’t even know where I am,

I don’t even know your name nor mine.

But don’t stand there and judge me

Thinking that silly old woman think deeper about me as you gossip over me as if I’m not there.

I am no child; I am an adult so treat me that way, I know what its like to be young and free.

I ask a question I get no response,

I know what I’m saying but you just stand and stare.

How do I know that you really care

When all the time you look at me like I’m mad inside.

But I know I’m not, I just want a hug that all I want.

No fruitless fruits, I just want you.

I may no longer talk,I may no longer walk.

I just need you by my side,

show me pictures, show me love

I may not remember but deep down I do.

One day… you’ll be the ‘crabbit lady’

Sitting here all alone.

Maybe remembering the old lady,

With the cotton white hair.

Don’t stay away, its you who

Gets me through each day.

Look how dementia

Affects me and others.

Be with me until I am gone,

But remember me and how my life went on.

So open your eyes come closer

Come closer and you’ll see the real me.