Listen to Me

By Harry Cayton, Sue Quinn and Sue Westell.
Living Archive Press
ISBN 0 9048747 31 4

to Me
is an honest, sensitive portrayal of Alzheimer’s disease in the words
of four people at the younger end of the spectrum. Their narratives are edited
from tape recordings made by Sue Westell for The Living Archive in Milton

of the four individuals reflect on dementia and its effects on their own and
others’ lives.

says: "It does frighten me, because I have, I know this sounds terribly
arrogant, but I’ve always been in control of myself…"

reflects on communication in the day centre that she attends: "I sit and
look at people. Sometimes I’m sitting here looking and I’m thinking, ‘I wonder
if they think anything?’, because they sit there for hours and don’t say a

Harry, too, sees interaction as the central problem:
"Sometimes I flounder and if people say the word, it’s the only way I can
actually talk to somebody is by – lost it again."

shows less awareness than the others, but the dialogue demonstrates her
restlessness and fluctuations of attention.

to Me
is important for the way it sets these accounts of the experience of
dementia in the context of people’s whole lives.

John Killick is research fellow in communication
through the arts, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling.

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