Tag Archives: Mick Carmody

Empowering People with Dementia through Online Support Groups, by Eileen Taylor

Empowering People with Dementia through Online Support Groups

This week our blog is the excellent presentation given at the ADI2016 conference in Budapest by Dementia Alliance International (DAI) Board member and secretary Eileen Taylor, on behalf of our DAI Support group host and facilitator, Mick Carmody.

https://youtu.be/J1o6QUZTrMA%20

SLIDE ONE (1) Title

You can download the full set of slides here: Empowering People with Dementia through Online Support Groups

SLIDE TWO (2)

Good morning everyone, hasn’t it been a great Conference? Thank you Budapest. My name is Eileen Taylor, I am a board member of the DAI, I live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia with my husband Doug and our toy poodle puppy, Hamish.

I was diagnosed with Familial Younger Onset Dementia of the Alzheimer type in 2009. My father and his brother died from the disease in 1994. While I am now trying to live well with dementia, it was very different on first being diagnosed in 2009 only fifteen years after my father’s death. The initial news left me shattered, “surely not me!.” It was the worst thing to happen to me, I was only 59.

I chose to pursue a diagnosis, due to my family history, and concern for my family. My husband Doug supported me on my search for a possible diagnosis; he has supported me throughout, and is here supporting me today. Thankfully!

I’m privileged to be speaking to you today since, a fellow DAI member, Mick Carmody, a person living with dementia, couldn’t make it to the conference due to health issues, and has asked me to take his place, and talk on the topic of online support groups.

SLIDE THREE (3)

My own story with Alzheimer’s begins in April of 2009, when we (my husband and I) saw a news item on television, about Research into identifying a DNA genetic link to Alzheimer’s Disease. It made me think about the possibility of my having the identified gene, along with word finding issues, and I had a need to find out for sure.

My GP, reluctantly, sent me for a Genetic Blood Test in the August of that year. It turns out that I did unfortunately have the faulty APP gene. According to the Alzheimer’s Australia, genes related Help Sheet, there are only approximately three percent (3%) of people with Younger Onset Dementia (or YOD) with a genetic link in Australia.

The GP then referred me to a Neurologist, who, after doing tests and hearing of my family history, as well as my concerns for my own family, suggested I engage in drug trials, and referred me to a research centre in Melbourne. He believed I would get a firmer diagnosis, as well as some ongoing support. The Melbourne Group, in turn, referred me to a local research facility in Brisbane who confirmed the diagnosis and I joined a drug trial that same year, 2009.

Unlike some, as we have heard in this conference, I was diagnosed early as it took about 3 months to get the diagnosis. Since then I have chosen to engage in research trials with the Prince Charles Hospital, in my home town of Brisbane. After all I would like to find a cure in my lifetime. My third trial is now in its’ fourth year and I go for monthly visits for the trial drug. This particular drug appears to be more successful for people who are in the early stages of the disease. I do this for my family and future generations.

My life since 2009 until the middle of last year 2015, when I retired, was one of secrecy, except with a few close friends and family members. It was almost the same as with my father, as we never talked about it. Secrecy has been a family pattern learnt from my own family of origin I/m sure was due to the stigma (which is still around today) associated with having dementia.

However, since being a member of the DAI for approximately 20 months, I feel empowered by it, I have chosen to be open about my diagnosis and do my best to live well with dementia.

SLIDE FOUR (4)

Dementia Alliance International

The Dementia Alliance International or DAI is the global peak body for people living with dementia, and was formed only two years ago and currently has over 1500 members worldwide. To be a member of the DAI the person needs a confirmed diagnosis of dementia and our members live all over the world.

It is an Advocacy and Online Support Group, and is a not for profit organisation. Part of the DAI’s vision is to eradicate the stigma, isolation, and discrimination of dementia, and enforce the human rights of people with dementia around the world.

SLIDE SIX (6)

As part of the support the DAI offers its members, it has online support groups for members. There are currently six online groups that meet around the world.

Mick Carmody who I mentioned before is the global online support facilitator and host for most of these International online groups. Each group has its own online room. There are groups in Australia, the USA, England, Scotland, Wales, and Canada. I just heard Nigeria is getting onboard and is due to start an online support group after this conference.

SLIDE SEVEN (7)

These regular weekly online support groups are for people with dementia, our members, living in their own homes, and, are at a time which is convenient for each particular group, therefore making it less confronting for the person.

The meetings usually last approximately 90 mins. I agree with Mick, when he says, he “has found that people find that getting online with like minded people is very empowering.” In that, they meet other people who understand what they are going through and are not judgemental or critical.

No medical advice is given and no dementia professionals are allowed to attend. The groups appear to be beneficial for people newly diagnosed with a dementia.

SLIDE EIGHT (8)

Mick says that, “all that is needed is a computer or tablet with an internet connection, a camera and a speaker, as well as a downloaded program called Zoom, and people can meet together face to face online.”

Mick says “some people cannot believe how simple, safe, confidential and enjoyable each meeting is.” Additionally, he said “it’s thanks to the late Dr Richard Taylor PHD” (an American psychologist who John Sandblom highlighted on the first day of this conference),”that the online group meetings were initiated.”

As part of Mick’s work with the DAI, and towards a Dementia Friendly World, he also talks with other advocates and organisations, encouraging them to host groups in other countries. Currently, he is working with people in Japan, Spain, Italy and New Zealand to further empower and engage people with dementia to reduce the stigma and isolation and therefore increase well being.

SLIDE NINE (9)

And, as such, since the European Dementia Friends Campaign mantra is about empowering people with dementia, to live in their communities without fear of stigma, the DAI is fulfilling this mantra across the world with their online support groups. Additionally, the DAI has other services it provides such as, their Cafe Le Brain online memory cafe, Meeting of the Mind webinars, and online Master classes, these provide opportunities for education, building capacity, and socializing with new friends. It also has a designated FaceBook Page and YouTube Channel (where you can watch recordings of the Master classes, conference presentations and webinars). There is also a weekly blog and newsletter.

SLIDE TEN (10)

While only part of the work of the DAI is about supporting people, through the online support groups, the DAI is also fulfilling The European Dementia Friends Campaign as it also endeavours to advocate and educate people. The Dementia Friends Campaign is about advocacy and education of the public, in the dementia language, to improve the quality of life, for those of us, living with dementia in our communities across the world.

SLIDE ELEVEN (11)

My own discovery of the DAI, happened in a roundabout way, through a reference in a book I read last year, called ‘Still Alice’, by Lisa Genova and now a film starring Academy Award Winning Julianne Moore, about a woman called ‘Alice’, a college professor who finds herself diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s.

SLIDE TWELVE (12)

As I said earlier, from a personal perspective, since finding and joining DAI, and being involved as I am, has certainly been a very empowering experience, to belong to such a group. As you can see and hear, I’m talking to you today, and have recently become the DAI secretary, and co-host, of two of the online support groups, due to MIck’s ill health. So I thank him and DAI, for having faith in me, and giving me the opportunity to participate in their work.

If you know of anyone diagnosed with a dementia, we invite them to join Dementia Alliance International (DAI). Our contact details are on the slide.

Thank you

Download Eileen and Micks power point slides here: Empowering People with Dementia through Online Support Groups

Human Rights and dementia #ADI2016

We are starting off this week, with last weeks blog! I was unable to find time to write or post one, in part as I am now in Budapest preparing for the 31st Alzheimer’s Disease International conference later this week. After a weekend off  playing tourist, something rarely done these days, I have to focus on my personal studies. On top of that, I decided to dedicate this week to keeping our members up to date with what is happening here at the conference, as a few members are on their way to Budapest, but many more are not able to be here.

One member in particular, who had his Abstract accepted, is not well enough to be here, and I want to say to you  Mick Carmody, we will miss you, and I personally am experiencing something similar to what is called ‘survivor guilt’ as I feel guilty even being here without you. We all love you, and hope you improve soon. <3 <3 <3

So, to get the week started, Professor Peter Mittler is representing us in Geneva tomorrow, and made this submission on our behalf on our human rights and use of the CRPD. Thank you Peter.

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DEMENTIA ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL[i]

POSITION PAPER: UN GENERAL DAY OF DISCUSSION ON CRPD ARTICLE 19

THE RIGHT OF PERSONS LIVING WITH DEMENTIA TO BE SUPPORTED TO LIVE INDEPENDENTLY IN THE COMMUNITY

By Professor Peter Mittler, DAI Member and Human Rights Adviser

SUMMARY

This submission invites the UN CRPD Committee to take steps to ensure that persons living with dementia are fully included in the implementation of the Convention and the UN 2016-2030 Sustainable Development Goals in order to enable them to fulfil their stated aim “to be helped to live as independently as possible in the community[ii].

This is a world-wide priority for 47.5 million people now living with dementia and a policy imperative for those who will be diagnosed in the decades to come, especially in Low and Middle Income Countries.

INTRODUCTION

Dementia Alliance International was founded in 2014 by people with a diagnosis of dementia across the world and now has 1500 members. It provides a unified voice in claiming their fundamental human right to supports and services to enable them to live well in their community for as long as possible on the same basis as their fellow-citizens.

Dementia Alliance International is the voice of people with dementia. It works closely but autonomously with Alzheimer’s Disease International[iii]– the global voice for people with dementia.

Our joint aims are to

  • Use the CRPD to secure the recognition of the human rights of persons with dementia- internationally, regionally, nationally and locally
  • Ensure that CRPD implementation by Member States includes people with dementia
  • New developments in policy and practice for people with dementia are based on CRPD Principles and Articles
  • Build awareness, commitment and capacity among self-advocates and organisations for persons with dementia to use the CRPD as a tool for change
  • Encourage and inform submissions to the CRPD Committee to secure the inclusion of the rights of persons with dementia in its List of Issues and Concluding Observations and in its relationships with other UN and international agencies in the implementation of the UN 2016-2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

BACKGROUND

Until recently, neither persons with dementia nor national Alzheimer’s Societies have used their right of access to CRPD to which they are legally entitled in the characterisation of disability in Article 1.

“Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and active participation in society on an equal basis with others”

It is against this background that DAI Chair and CEO Ms Kate Swaffer included ‘Access to CRPD’ as one of its demands at the WHO First Ministerial Conference on Dementia in March 2015. In addition, a strong, human-rights based resolution submitted by Alzheimer’s Disease International on behalf of 38 national Alzheimer’s Associations was reflected in the first of the General Principles of the Call for Action by WHO Director Dr Margaret Wang[iv].

Although 163 Member States and the European Union have ratified the Convention, there is no evidence that persons with dementia are being included in its implementation at national level. This reflects a pervasive assumption that dementia is the sole responsibility of Health ministries, rather than a joint responsibility across all Departments of State, including Housing, Social Care and Protection, Transport and Justice to enable persons with dementia to have access to the whole range of supports, services and amenities available to their fellow-citizens (Article 19c).

OBSTACLES TO CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN THE COMMUNITY

Persons with dementia have ‘lived independently and been included in the community’ all their lives but encounter deep-rooted and systemic attitudinal and societal obstacles to continue to do so following diagnosis.

DISENGAGEMENT BY DIAGNOSIS

Exclusion from the community frequently begins with the first disclosure of a diagnosis of dementia. Accounts by persons with dementia in books[v], DAI weekly support groups and the social media include numerous examples of the ‘good, the bad and the ugly’ in ways in which the diagnosis is communicated by clinicians. A book by the late Richard Taylor[vi], a former clinical psychologist, includes a classic chapter based on his personal as well as professional experience contrasting good with bad practice in ways of communicating a diagnosis of dementia.

Kate Swaffer[vii] uses the term ‘Prescribed Disengagement® to characterise the advice that she received to “give up work, give up study, go home and live for the time you’ve got left.” Her husband was told he would soon have to give up work to care for her.

Legal capacity and fitness to drive are immediately threatened by a diagnosis of dementia, rather than evaluated by independent assessment of functioning. This can be particularly traumatic for people with Younger Onset Dementia in mid-career and with responsibilities for young children and elderly parents.

SOCIAL ISOLATION

Many people with dementia have described the loneliness and social isolation which they experience when friends and even family members stop visiting and neighbours cross the street to avoid meeting them. Their isolation is increased by fear of failure and humiliation in going out. Loss of self-identity and self-esteem can occur when household tasks and responsibilities are taken over by the care partner, sometimes on the advice of a professional.

STIGMA

Dementia has now replaced cancer as the illness most feared by the general public and is the reason why many people hesitate to seek help if they are worried about their memory or cognitive functioning. The stigma surrounding dementia is fuelled not only by the media but by politicians and clinicians who talk about time bombs and tsunamis and commit to a ‘world without dementia’ within a generation.

In the meantime, stigma is reflected in the conclusion of an OECD[viii] study that “dementia receives the worst care in the developed world” and a WHO[ix] statement that the disability arising from dementia is higher than in almost all other conditions, with the exception of spinal cord injury and terminal cancer.

PREMATURE RESIDENTIAL CARE (Article 19a)

Most people with dementia in High Income Countries continue to live with a care partner, with supports ranging from zero to daily visits from a support worker, funded by themselves or a publicly-funded agency. The 30 per cent of people with dementia who live alone miss out on even more support due to their single status and inability to register a family carer. In many Low and Middle Income Countries the only alternative is a distant institution.

A person admitted to hospital for reasons not directly connected to their dementia is likely to stay in hospital for much longer than a person without dementia, due as much to the poor care which they receive as to their partner being unable to care for them at home.

A recent UK report[x] based on information collected under the Freedom of Information Act reports that

  • People with dementia stay five to seven times longer in the worst performing hospitals than other people over the age of 65
  • 52-71 per cent of people over 65 who had a fall were people with dementia
  • Thousands of people with dementia are being discharged between 11pm and 6am each year.

The risk of transfer to residential could be reduced by contingency planning with a key worker familiar with the person’s home circumstances. Once in residential care, isolation from the community is compounded by the possibility that some family members and friends will stop visiting, especially if the person with dementia does not appear to recognise them or is uncomfortable in their presence.

THE CARE COUPLE

Many professionals and policy makers generalise about ‘carers’ as if they were a homogeneous group, despite evidence of their individuality in the social media and in the rich variety of their writing[xi]. Because care partners are the main source of support for the person with dementia to live at home and to remain a member of the community, they too have the right to whatever support is needed to help them to do so.

25 per cent of persons with dementia and 50 per cent of care partners are clinically depressed. Richard Taylor’s account of crying for weeks following diagnosis reflects a need for crisis counseling both for him and his wife. His discussion of the impact of the initial impact of his diagnosis and difficulties on his relationship to his wife suggests that both might have been helped by couple counseling.

REHABILITATION PATHWAY

Poor support for people newly diagnosed with dementia is in strong contrast to rehabilitation programmes tailored to the specific needs of people who sustain severe brain damage as a result of a stroke or traffic accident. Kate Swaffer contrasts the current medical model of care with a support pathway based on CRPD[xii]. A service along these lines in provided in the State of Queensland, Australia[xiii].

The concept of ‘post-diagnostic support’ needs to be reconceptualised as a rehabilitation pathway which begins at the time of diagnosis with the offer of a follow-up visit to the hospital or memory clinic where the diagnosis has been given and provides opportunities to ask questions and discuss ways in which support can be given.

From this point, a qualified key worker needs to be appointed to maintain contact with the person with dementia and family members to discuss needs and priorities and provide links to necessary services and supports from all relevant services and community supports.

A rehabilitation pathway should provide access to a wide range of specialists. These include:

  • Occupational therapists to discuss possible adaptations to the home and domestic appliances, television sets and personal computers
  • Physiotherapists to maintain mobility and strength
  • Speech and language therapists to promote language and communication
  • Clinical psychologists to advise on adjustment to diagnosis, improving and maintaining cognitive functioning, maintaining independence and quality of life[xiv]
  • Social workers to consider family issues and provide access to community resources.

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

INCLUSION IN UN 2016-2030 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS[xv]

The UN 2016-2030 Sustainable Development Goals were launched with a commitment to Leave No One Behind. As a consequence of sustained advocacy, persons with disabilities are now clearly included in the 17 SDGs and 169 implementation indicators. Although the needs of older persons are recognised, persons with dementia are in grave risk of being overlooked.

COMMUNITY-BASED REHABILITATION

Persons with dementia in Low and Middle Income Countries should be able to benefit from the long established WHO Community-Based Rehabilitation Programme which aims to provide a home-based, first line of support to persons with disabilities and their families from local health and community workers, as well as persons with disabilities and family members.

The most recent revision of the CBR Training Manuals[xvi] was co-written with Disabled Persons’ Organisations and draws on CRPD Principles and Articles to inform policy and practice. The Convention has also been used to underpin the WHO 2014-2021 Disability Action Plan[xvii] but it is not clear whether persons with dementia will benefit from either of these initiatives.

REGIONAL AND NATIONAL DEMENTIA STRATEGIES

As a result of G8 and G7 leadership and the WHO Global Dementia Strategy, Dementia Strategies have been launched by the European Commission, the Pan-American Health Authority and several Member States. Although nearly all participating governments have ratified the Convention, we can find no evidence of it being used to underpin policies.

RECOMMENDATION

Dementia Alliance International requests the CRPD Committee to take steps to raise awareness of the rights of persons with dementia among Member States and at all levels of the United Nations to ensure that they are included in its monitoring and implementation.

ARTICLE 19: GENERAL ISSUES FROM A DEMENTIA PERSPECTIVE

  1. Dementia is one of several health conditions that suggest the need for greater consideration of the impact of impairments on day to day functioning (e.g. epilepsy, Parkinson’s’ Disease, Motor Neurone Disease). Although dementia is a progressive disorder, the rate of deterioration over a period of years is highly variable and levels of functioning also vary from day to day in ways that cannot be captured by routine assessments which influence decisions on legal capacity. There is often a mismatch between performance on tests and everyday life.
  2. Other commentators have pointed out that Living Independently does not mean Living Alone. Article 19 is one of several where the focus is on the individual without sufficient regard to those with whom they share their lives – in particular the person who will lose their identity as a life partner and be automatically designated as ‘the carer’ at the time of diagnosis. Service planners, providers and supporters need to have regard to the dynamics of the ‘care couple and to the distinctive needs of each.
  3. Early versions of the social model of disability conceptualise the environment in terms of obstacles that need to be overcome (e.g “parents are our enemies”) rather than the opportunities it can or could provide to support the person to live independently and be included in the community.

Author: DAI Human Rights Advisor,  Professor Peter Mittler, April 2016
Editor: Kate Swaffer, Chair, CEO & Co-founder, DAI

References

[i] http://www.infodai.org

[ii] http://www.alz.co.uk/sites/default/files/pdfs/global-dementia-charter-i-can-live-well-with-dementia.pdf

[iii] http://www.alz.co.uk

[iv] http://www.who.int/mental_health/neurology/dementia/call_for_action_en.pdf?ua=

[v] Swaffer, K. (2016) What the Hell Happened to My Brain? London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; Taylor, R (2009) Alzheimer’s From the Inside Out. Baltimore, Md: Health Professions Press; Whitman, L.(ed.) (2016) People with Dementia Speak Out. London: JKP; Rohra, H. (forthcoming) Coming Out of the Shadows: Why I Advocate for People with Dementia. London: JKP.

[vi] Taylor, R. op.cit. If I were an M. and not a Ph.D.

[vii] Swaffer, K. (2015) ‘Dementia and Prescribed Disengagement’. Dementia, 14(3), 3-6.

[viii] http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/addressing-dementia_9789264231726-en#page1

[ix] WHO (2004) Global Burden of Disease. http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GBD_report_2004update_full.pdf?ua=1

[x] Alzheimer’s Society (2016) Fix Dementia Care Hospitals. www.alzheimers.org.uk/fixdementiacare

[xi] Whitman, L. ed.) (2009) Telling Tales About Dementia: Experience of Caring. London: JKP; Magnusson, S. (2014) Where Memories Go. www.tworoadsbooks.com

[xii] Swaffer, K. (2016) op.cit pp.165-166.

[xiii] https://www.health.qld.gov.au/cairns_hinterland/docs/gp-dementia-enablement-guide.pdf

[xiv] British Psychological Society (2014) A Guide to Psychosocial Interventions in Early Stages of Dementia; Clinical Psychology in the Early Stages of the Dementia Pathway. www.bps.org.uk/fpop

[xv] UN Sustainable Development Goals. http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sdgoverview/post-2015-development-agenda.html

[xvi] WHO, UNESCO, ILO & IDDC (2010) Community Based CBR Guidelines: Introductory Booklet, Geneva: WHO. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44405/9/9789241548052_introductory_eng.pdf

[xvii] WHO (2014) Global Disability Action Plan 2014-2021: Better Health for All Disabilities. Geneva :WHO http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/EB134_16-en.pdf?ua=1

Mick Carmody: living with younger onset dementia

Our Day 3 Dementia Awareness Month 2015 blog features DAI Board member, Mick Carmody on 612ABC Brisbane radio this week, who speaks frankly about living with younger onset dementia.  The journalist has referred to it as early onset dementia, a term that is not used so often now, due to the reality anyone can be in the early stages of dementia, regardless of their age.

Congratulations and thank you Mick, and thanks for representing your friends and others with dementia so well. Your global advocacy work, in particular hosting support groups at time zones all around the world, is incredibly commendable. Everyone at DAI is proud of you.

 

Cafe Le Brain Australia and our online Support groups

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 8.17.48 amCafe Le Brain Australia is re-commencing on the third Friday of May which is May 15th, being run again on a monthly basis from 1pm (Brisbane, Queensland time).

All DAI members will be sent the link to join as soon as it is back up on our Events calendar. For May, we will have a guest speaker, yet to be confirmed, but who will present on a topic of interest to people with dementia and their friends and family, and who will be available for questions.

Please keep May 15th free to join Cafe Le Brain Australia. 

DAI member, Mick Carmody from Brisbane in Australia, continues to host the weekly online support groups at a time suitable to those members living in Australia, New Zealand, Japan an other countries in time zones similar to them. Well done and thank you Mick for your dedication and enthusiasm. The details for this regular support group is below;

Online Support Group for people with dementia in Australia

Hosted by Mick Carmody on  Tuesdays 1:00pm – 2:30pm
at ZOOM Online video (map)
This support group is run by people with dementia, for people with dementia, and is a meeting place for people diagnosed with all dementias including Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive impairment under review. It is a confidential forum, not for professionals or interested others to attend, and the rule on confidentiality is that anything said in the group, stays in the group. Respect and dignity for all, as well as providing a safe and empowering environment are some of our goals.
Please contact [email protected] to register for this support group. The link to the group will be emailed to you the day before the support group meeting.
Go here for information about all of the DAI events and support groups.

Copyright: Dementia Alliance International

Thanksgiving and Christmas

As the Editor of Dementia Alliance International and also an Australian, I either remember nothing, or know very little about the tradition of Thanksgiving! Hence, I have had to look it up. Wikipedia says: “Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving was also celebrated nationally in 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S.,

Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.”

So, happy Thanksgiving to all our American members, I hope the Turkey and all the other trimmings were wonderful?!

Firstly, sincere apologies to all the DAI members from the USA for adding this information. But for those of us who not steeped in this tradition, I thought it might be useful. Thanksgiving is just over, and now Christmas is almost upon us, and so I thought it fitting to focus the next few blogs on Christmas and Dementia.  This week, Mick Carmody has given us permission to publish a poem he wrote recently about Christmas and dementia. His blog Journey of Discovery: Shine on is a great read too.  Mick wrote:

As a person living with Dementia, what does Christmas in 2014 mean to me?

Like most people it means, planning, purchasing presents, stuffing the
turkey, stocking the liquor cabinet you see
Decorating the tree, the house inside and out
Uncle Bill calling, hey Mick, it’s your shout
All this excitement makes me tired, hand shakes, smiling, laughing,
kisses and bad jokes
This inebriated Bill is normally a good bloke
Then out come the uneducated experts who majored at the school of
nothing and failed
Saying he is to young for Dementia, that is for some one seventy or
more whose boat has sailed
Uncle Bill and Aunty Vi who come every year empty handed for
goodness sake
All I can do to stay awake
Kids and Grand kids all running wild
Remember the naughty is only a child
Uncle Bill shouts Sue save me a leg would you darl
The answer is ok with a snarl
All in all its been a good day now the best part, for the time has come,
to wake up and GO HOME for another year
Aunty Vi looks at us both and sheds a tear
I am sure Stigma is rife in your family just like mine
If only family would listen and take the time
For some reason, don’t know why christmas reminds me of old
SACHMO: I SEE EYES OF BLUE, RED ROSES TO AND I
THINK TO MYSELF, WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE CHRISTMAS

Thank you for allowing us to publish this Mick.

Author: Mick Carmody 2014

Editor: Kate Swaffer