Saturday, September 13, 2014

What Demons Haunt…

What darkened demons haunt her soul…
like one possessed she walks the halls—
on secret mission just she knows.
What is it that assumes control,
that she, herself, cannot express?
Her shadows race along the wall—
this tiny woman, now obsessesed
with need to move and not be still.
Time detracts, we can’t forestall           
when age gives to dementia’s will.

Just for brief moment, stops her quest
yet sensing mission incomplete,
once again the demon calls…
No cure for this unwelcomed guest,
and no reprieve once he befalls.
With no remission, no defeat,
the cruel affliction runs its course.
The victim is herself, unfeigned;
yet for observers, bittersweet—
with aching sadness, bear the pain.

still more apparent with each day—
    what birth endows, age takes away.

© Ginny Brannan 2014

In Frontotemporal dementia, people will often show signs of obsessive-compulsive behavior such as hand washing or walking back and forth from one area to another. They have the need to carry out repeated actions that are inappropriate or not relevant to the situation at hand. Breaking this cycle is difficult and the caregiver must decide if this behavior is simply annoying or unsafe for the person and decide if they need to intervene.
~ from


  1. Dementia, what an unwelcome guest.. And how hard it is to see it from inside and from the outside..

  2. That the guide we used with Dad. If he was in harm's way, we redirected, otherwise he seemed to be happy always moving.,

    "Pick your battles", my sister said. And we did.

    1. You and your sister absolutely had the right attitude. I've seen families who believe dementia is just a "setback." They visit on a 'good' day, and talk about how mom and dad are "getting better." We employees have online in-service training that goes into depth about the various stages of dementia. The more we learn, the easier it is for us to relate to and understand why these residents do what they do. The old school of thought was to try to force these them back into our world. We cannot force them to be what they no longer are. The new school of thought is to 'go with the flow,' as long as there is no danger of harm to themselves or others. We "redirect" many, many times throughout the day.


Thank you for reading my poetry and sharing your thoughts.