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February 19, 2015

Dementia Speaks – A poem that tells a moving story

Imagine living in a world that no longer makes sense.  All that was once familiar is now unrecognizable.  It’s a scary thing when one is aware that changes are going on.  When the brain is no longer telling the body what to do.  When you look at someone and know that you know them, but you are not certain how.

Call 1-800-616-6730 for a dementia care specialist.

Call 1-800-616-6730 for a dementia care specialist.

There is a very special person in this writer’s life.  This individual has lead a full, busy life.  She took care of a husband for more than a half a century, a house, and raised eight children.  Currently, at eighty something, this woman is still vibrant.  Still involved.  Still filled with passion and desire to accomplish tasks.  She is certainly not at all ready to call it quits.Even with more than a handful of physical health issues, this person continues to look at life from a positive perspective as often as possible. However, there are moments that she realizes her brain is not functioning as it used to, just as her body is failing her.

With her physical aches and pains, coupled with the ache in her heart resulting from the awareness of her diminishing mental status, this young lady shared what it is like to live a day in her shoes; in the steps of someone who is not always making the connections as in years gone by.


Dementia Speaks

“Who am I?
I’ve just forgot.
Makes me afraid.
I get that a lot.

What are you doing in this place?
Why are you taking up my space?
You act like you know me
I’ve never seen you before
Just go away.
Out the front door!

Where, oh where, have I put my keys?
I’m so agitated.
Not at ease.
Where am I going?
I can’t remember.
Is this October or still December?

Where’s my purse?
I have to leave.
Don’t stop me from going.
It’s New Year’s Eve.

My daughter is coming.
That I know.
Is that rain?
Or should I dress for snow?

Don’t look at me.
You’re making a face.
Are you staying for lunch?
I’ll just set a place.

Who did you say you were?
My daughter?
No, you don’t look like her.
You’re the one making a frown.
You’re annoying me now.
I can’t calm down!

Who am I?
I’ve just forgot.
Makes me afraid.
I get that a lot.”

Like many who are either living with memory loss, or are caring for another with Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia, this poem tells a moving story about those we hope to nurture.

To each of you who hold a special place in your heart to want to, and work toward, making it all better, thank you.  It takes patience, dedication, hope and strength, from you, and for the individuals with the diagnosis of dementia.

Making it all better, the AlzBetter way.  To learn more about the AlzBetter services and products, and how we at Big Hearts Home Care can help to provide a better, more meaningful day, please call us at 1-800-616-6730.

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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