Before you read this – remember the vast majority of people in old people’s homes are likely to be deaf, or deafblind….. Make sure you know how to communicate effectively if you are working in a care setting. Disabled people once had a life, you know, just like you and me.
I hate that you should call me “Dear”, And say “How are we today”,
In that insincere and patronising voice.
I am a person, not a pet, I understand, there is no need to stroke me.
I hate the way you used my Christian name, Before you even asked or knew me.
I do not want to be another Lucy, Jane or Emma, A nonentity in a crowd of first named women.
I am Mrs Brown and proud to bear his name.
Perhaps when I have chosen my first few friends, We can embark upon a closer understanding.
Beneath those shabby genteel clothes, I am an entity.
That has been built up year by year, By joys and sorrows, work and play,
Responsibility, experience, love.
I am the little girl who wandered in the primrose wood.
I am the girl whose French was always weak, but passed exams, Who loved Geography, and wallowed in a world of words.
I am the student whose college days were rich, with friends’ philosophy, ideals new thoughts.
I am the woman who was wife and mother, Who knew the splendour of a family bound with love.
But also knew the heartbreak and the passing from baby wants to teenage needs and pressures.
Of loss of irreplacable companion.
I am the traveller, who slept on mountain tops, who braved the Arctic seas of the North Cape.
I am the wife who loved to cook and clean, whose house was filled with friends who came,
to talk, to walk, to put the world aright.
I am a person. I am me. I am not “dear”.
Mrs Margaret Ridley – from Milbrook, Cornwall.