Poetry from the Heart

The Community Pride Space on the Ground Floor of Rotorua Library Te Aka Mauri will turn into a cosy 'Poet's Corner' for Poetry from the Heart with Michelle Mills on Thursday 20 September from 12.15-1pm and again from 5.30- 6.15pm. 

The poetry readings are part of several activities planned in Rotorua for Dementia-Friendly Awareness Week which runs from 17 - 23 September.

Through her role as Senior BUPA caregiver, Michelle has learned a lot about dementia over the years.

"Dementia is becoming more prevalent and we are all going to know someone with dementia at some stage in our lives.  The perception is that it is not a disease and it tends to not be taken seriously.   It is mistakenly seen as part of the ageing process even though it also affects many younger people". 

Michelle has made a personal commitment to dementia. She is determined to see the person before the disease and help sufferers and their families gain a deeper understanding and have a fulfilled life whether they are in care facilities or living in the community.

Her commitment is reflected not only in her job, but also in her beautiful and moving poetry.  The poetry happened almost by accident when BUPA, The Gardens and Redwood were finalists in the Westpac Business Awards. As part of their submission, Michelle wrote the poem, 'My Life, My Way' which became the first poem in her book Poetry from the Heart.  She followed this up with 'Through My Eyes' – a poem written through the eyes of someone with Dementia.  Her poetry continued to develop from there and with the support of BUPA, Michelle published the book Poetry from the Heart which aims to help the community and dementia carers understand the different aspects and perspectives of dementia. 

Her use of poetry to help the public understand dementia has seen Michelle nominated for the 'Everyday Hero Award', an award to identify and reward everyday people doing extraordinary things in their local communities.

Members of the public are invited to come along on Thursday and listen to Michelle read her poetry aloud in the library.  She is passionate about her cause which comes through in her readings. The audience can expect to be entertained with poems that truly are from the heart while learning something new about dementia. The event is free and no bookings are required. 

Find out more about this and other Dementia-Friendly Awareness Week activities on the Dementia Lakes Events Calendar - http://www.dementialakes.org.nz/events.html

Page reviewed: 17 Sep 2018 8:15am