By Julie Goyder
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Additional info for We'll Be Married in Fremantle: Alzheimer's Disease and the Everyday Act of Storying
It’s such a beautiful place, Julie. ’ Later, as I was wheeling him past the fro n t doors, he exclaimed, pointing to the outside, ‘There it is! That’s Fremantle, Julie. ’ So, on impulse, I said, ‘All right, Joe,’ wheeled him outside and went to get an easychair for him from the dayroom. ’ one of my colleagues asked me suspiciously. ‘I’ll be back in a minute,’ I said innocently, aware, all the same, that there would be trouble. ’ Joe had been saying, ‘Aah, see, Julie, I told you it was a beautiful place,’ thoroughly enjoying what he imagined was a morning in the We s t e r n Australian port city.
But, on the contrary, they may be anything but docile when they are first admitted to the nursing home. They may argue against routines and 42 ~ regulations and resist coercive pro c e d u res but, in my experience, it usually takes less than a week for most of these patients to become ‘docile’, amenable, obedient — in short, to conform and comply. They get used to being whisked back and forth to the toilet, brought down to the dayroom for the communal meals, showered as early as five am, given pain-killers and sleeping tablets during the drug round and not before: they get used to a lack of choice about anything.
His storying was contextualised and generated by all of these places — the nursing home, his childhood home and his life on the farm before he became ill. With the confusion which Alzheimer’s Disease brings, and the added confusion of institutionalisation, I believe that it was only David’s storying which enabled him to function in such an unfaltering way within and between the various places which he had to negotiate. Our storying always issues from a somewhere. A place. I continued to interact with David during my shifts at the nursing home.
We'll Be Married in Fremantle: Alzheimer's Disease and the Everyday Act of Storying by Julie Goyder