I am grateful for all the inspiration I have received over the past year, from persons living with dementia (many of them, I must add, functioning very well. For instance, Paulann Gordon has been living with dementia for the past 5 years. She is now in the middle stages and continues to function well. She has chosen to live her life as an advocate, speaker and author. Paulann has published a booklet sharing her experiences living with dementia. Vascular Dementia – An Inside Perspective, is available on Amazon. Her story provides valuable insight and encouragement for those living with dementia their caregivers.
Whether we work with persons with dementia, or have loved ones with dementia, we must never forget that the wholeness of the person’s spirit is still there, even when it looks like it isn’t. What are the person’s strengths? What makes them smile? What lights them up? What interests and passions can still be reached and celebrated? For me, answering these questions is of primary importance in caring for our fellow human beings who happen to have dementia.
I am thankful that I am surrounded by people who are deeply committed to caring for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. From devoted care partners whose closest loved ones have dementia, to front-line staff at Ebenezer sites whom I have observed slowing down and taking time to connect with residents, and activities staff who exhibit tremendous energy and enthusiasm to make life easier, friendlier, more pleasant and more meaningful for those residents with whom they work, I am grateful. I have been inspired by occupational therapists, dementia trainers, receptionists, chaplains, administrators, nurses, executives, donors and professional artists, all of whom in some way are making a profound difference for persons with dementia.
In my personal circle, I have been inspired by many friends and family members.
It’s reassuring to remember support is available. And there are those who are passionately devoted to caring for those with dementia. If you feel, like I do, that the news of late is oh, a bit challenging to take in, it helps to remember what is going well in our own sphere in order to maintain and cultivate resilience. It’s part of self-care, which is an essential practice for anyone out there caring for a person with dementia.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
--Marysue Moses, Dimensions Coordinator,