A former care worker who has dementia had people in tears when recited a poem on video as a heartfelt plea for patience for those who have the condition.
Gary Weir, 54, has been a resident of the Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham for five years after falling victim to a form of dementia called Korsakoff’s Syndrome.
He is unable to live on his own because he has memory problems which prevent him from living alone.
According to Gary, he wanted to record the poem because he wanted people to see life from his point of view and appeal to them to show patience and kindness to those with dementia.
The untitled poem was found on the internet by Arlene Elano, the deputy manager of Pendine Park’s Bodlondeb centre of excellence for dementia care, where Gary lives.
Gary, a former pupil of Grove Park School in Wrexham, worked as a care practitioner in Camden Town in London before the condition forced him to return home to North Wales.
He said: ““I loved working as a carer in Camden but I’m not well enough to work now.
“I was going through a very rough patch. I realised I couldn’t live at home any more. I have a lot of friends here at Bodlondeb who have dementia and I want people to know how it is for people with dementia and other conditions like mine.
“I asked Arlene to print the poem so I could read it out and record it on video. The poem sums up what it feels like to live with dementia.
“I like poetry and I wanted to get everyone to listen and know how it feels from a resident’s point of view. People just need to be a bit patient and try to understand.
“The staff here are kind and very caring they understand but other people don’t.
Arlene Elano said: “Gary practised a lot beforehand and the way he read it was so emotional it really struck home and there were plenty of people who heard it with tears in their eyes, including me I have to admit. It was so touching and heartfelt.
“Gary is a wonderful resident who is very active. He’s actually a very intelligent man who is fantastic at quizzes such as ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’. He knows all the answers.
“He has problems with his memory and he also has problems with roads and traffic.
“Gary is clearly happy here and has a very positive influence on other residents.
“He is so kind and such a likeable guy all the other residents look up to him. They know he understands their problems and frustrations and he will help if he possibly can.”
She explained: “He asked if he could read a poem that would help people understand what it is like to suffer from dementia and memory issues.
“I found the poem he read, which was untitled and I do not know who the author was, it just said it was by anonymous. But I just thought it summed up exactly what Gary wanted to say.”
Senior manager Gill Hughes was among those who listened to Gary recite the poem.
She said: “It was really quite emotional and you could have heard a pin drop. I think everyone present was captivated by what Gary said. What we see at Bodlondeb Care Home is not traditional care.
“The manager, Ann Chapman, and her hard-working team encourage residents join in and live their lives to the full. Living in a care home isn’t the end of your life and that is exactly what Gary was telling us through his poem recital.”
Please be patient with me.
I am the helpless victim of a brain disease
Talk to me.
Even though I cannot always answer you,
Be kind to me,
Each day of my life is a desperate struggle,
Consider my feelings,
They are still very much alive within me,
Treat me with dignity and respect,
As I would gladly have treated you,
Remember my past,
For I was once a healthy and vibrant person,
Remember my present,
For I am still living,
Remember my future,
Though it may seem bleak to you,
Pray for me,
For I am a person who lingers in the mists of time and eternity,
And the gifts of love you give will be a blessing forever.