Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Good Grief Living well with Dementia Silver Linings Stress

November 2021

Its a lovely clear beautiful morning, I was awake at five a.m., morning coffee is tasting somehow extra smooth and rich this morning. October came and went so fast, life is happening so fast it seems, which seems odd considering restrictions from covid 19 still abound. Yet somehow here we are in another month, a step closer to another year winding down.
It seems I am so in touch with how things make me feel that somehow my awareness of things around me is so heightened, in the past of example I likely would not have given thought how things may or do impact me. I was so busy just being busy, thinking I needed to somehow prove myself, to maintain all that society thought I should. It left little time to actually be in touch with the inner most parts of me. I appreciate having the time to go within, to explore, its not always easy work, we have to walk through fear, but on the other side of it I find myself able to love who I am, I no longer set myself up for failures, to unnecessary expectations, I can love myself on my good and bad days, to see that even on my bad days when my illness causes and challenges me that it is still a day to celebrate.

Living more honestly with myself also means that I examine things, I think about the impacts of things, and one of those things of late is the use of technology in our lives. In many ways it’s fabulous it has done so much to help not only those of us living with Dementia but to everyone. Somehow though I have been examining all the different aspects, looking at things through a lens many won’t or don’t. This does not win me any popularity contests, I don’t do it to cause harm, or upset people. It’s almost like its another one of the gifts bestowed on me with my Dementia, like my love for writing, and I do believe it is a gift, to be able to look at something, see all the good it can and does do, but to also see the harm that can come if we cross certain lines. I work with and on some very interesting and good things that are technology based and have the ability to really help many, I have also been watching and seeing many things come to light that can if used in the right setting perhaps be ok, but put into the wrong settings can do harm. Yes I say can do harm, because it depends on how willing we are to look at the harm that can come, to acknowledge that and alter how and when we use certain types of technology. Yesterday I read an article written by a esteemed Doctor, who talked about how technology can be a very dangerous thing if used in certain health care settings, he was referring robots used in situations where they are actually replacing a person, doing different types of things that would normally be done by a person who while doing them is doing assessments that can only come from hands work with patients. I then watched 60 minutes where they did a program that showed the alarm has been sounded on the use of technology and robots and the damage that can happen to mankind on a bigger scale than most are wanting to think about or look at. I am and have been sounding the alarm, but still believing there can be many aspects of technology that can do great things.

This does leave me feeling like at times I am standing alone in some aspects of my advocacy work, perhaps because some don’t have the ability to look at all the different aspects. Maybe because they fear they will be somehow respected less, they don’t want to be the ones who stir the pot. I am not sure, but I am not advocating to win a popularity contest, nor am I here because it’s I have nothing better to do, or because the perks are so grand. I advocate because I live with Dementia, I believe in contributing and trying to make a difference, and in doing that at times, it means I bring things up that no one else will. It also at times made me question how much longer I can keep on advocating, it’s as rewarding as it is exhausting. It seems to be really hard right now, maybe partly because the whole state of the world seems to be in disarray on so many levels.

On Wednesday I will represent Dementia Advocacy Canada and speak at the RaDar conference In Sask. which is hosted by the University of Sask. The Radar event is specifically around Dementia and the Rural outlook and impacts felt by those living with Dementia in Rural Communities. I am really looking forward to this, it is something I feel needs to have more resources put into. I will speak about Human Rights and Dementia, another topic that has to be kept being brought to the forefront, years of people talking about it, little movement in the ways that really matter. But we keep trying, we keep keeping it in the forefront as much as we can.

Friday I will be meeting with our MLA, a week that will exhaust me, but hopefully will be steps to do more locally, provincially and within Canada, which I have always hoped to do. I will continue working with DAI in all ways I can, they will always be an organization that I will promote and value. I have submitted my abstract for the 2022 ADI conference, and continue to work with Agewell and CCNA. Somehow somedays it doesn’t feel like enough and yet in my heart I know it is enough, in fact I know that no matter how much we do it is enough.

So as November unfolds, reminding myself that remembering the most important thing is to be happy, to find the joy, to live each day, to remember the biggest lesson Dementia has taught me and that is to live today as best I can, for today is a gift, today is meant to be lived, that I may have a terminal and progressive illness, but until its time for my life to end, and it will, I must live, be present, not to look to the end for the end will take care of itself, but I will miss out on the most important pieces if I don’t remember to live each day that I am here. To remember to focus on the things I can do and no matter how many times I have to adjust or change how I do things to focus on the things I can not on the things that may be coming, or the things I may not be able to do at some point. So Today I will be grateful that I managed another day, in good spirits, with a good day winding down, after a great start to the day.

Photo by Bekka Mongeau on

By WWW.Chrissy's

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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