Below is the second conversation noted down with Mr. Pickering at the Buddy Café, Salford. These interviews will form part of a collection of work which will include poems and artworks, finding creative ways to inform us of life with dementia and as carers.
A tip on memory, I always find it very difficult. I try to select something I’m ‘convenient’ with. (I don’t want that word, that’s when I fall apart, time has worn it away and left me with Margaret, who is everything to me. If it wasn’t for her I would be nothing. At one time I got upset, I do my best now. I say ‘sorry, I can’t oblige now, my wife isn’t here.’ In that way I divert it. But I know it doesn’t sound good.
Things I’m familiar with- take that in front of you (points to the pool table) to have things familiar. At home there’s always the full things- cookery, gardening, those are issues that keep me and Margaret going at a reasonable level. So when we are shopping, lads come running up and say aren’t you Mr. Pickering, you taught me…
I work straight at it, whatever it is I work straight at it- I’m not always correct. I’m relying on the quality of my wife.
I’ve found services a little on the poor side. Doctors always seem to busy, there’s always queuing up, a bit of a disappointment. The diagnosis was very smooth and easy. In my book there wasn’t much need- My memory had just slowed down, my wife took over. Margaret was starting to be a bit unwell, but hid it away, she’s very intelligent.
I get reasonable support now (as well as Margaret) its fairly small. Once you’ve got this kind of thing there’s not a right lot of things you can do. The levels I’ve seen, quite a few of them aren’t able to do what we’re talking about now. (other people with dementia)
We in here (The Buddy Café) have helped in these little circles now. Coming here, the group of people I’ve known for several years. Take that coloured gent over there, a real gent, we work like a team. Friendship, without a shadow of a doubt- friendship by helping. Some people when coming in here are very poorly. Advising if required. At first its not helpful, we introduce ourselves, then it can grow. All these people, I can’t remember their names, that’s a blow. I can remember mine though.