Events that represent the passage of time, such as the celebration of birthdays; the emergence of a new season like summer, spring or winter; New Years' Eve celebrations and wedding anniversaries, traditionally invoke meaningful memories for most of us - but for the elderly - especially those living in aged care facilities and those who live with the effects of dementia - being reminded of ageing can be a depressing experience, triggering symptoms of anxiety and grief.
Journeys, like emotions, always follow a pathway of change and are forever indicating to us our progress, our movement, our performance and awareness. For a person living with dementia, emotions begin to operate exclusively on an intuitive level, where intellect is replaced by impulse; logic is interpreted as non-sensical; and where choices are governed by momentary lapses of clarity.Experiences are shaped by perception; our perception is ruled by the mental conditioning our culture imposes upon us - which in turn, dictates our emotional responses to the feelings we experience. For those living with dementia, societal norms are eroded by the plaques and tangles in the brain. Their thoughts are disconnected by the disconnected synapses in the brain; while logic is disseminiated by frontal lobe damage to the brain. Feelings are the only authentic, trustworthy indicator of our sense of self, which is especially true for our dementia residents living in aged care. Why? Because feelings are totally instinctive and ever-present.