For many, maybe most, Alzheimer’s is about loss. Forget something—Defeat. Remember something—Triumph.
A perception of people living with dementia from the outside. And from the outside, it is all too easy to discount their enduring humanity, seeing only that memories fade, language declines and attention spans shrink.
Mom taught me otherwise. She was distilled to her essence – generous, loving, funny and kind.
It’s December 2013. Mom is approaching her 95th year –13 years living with Alzheimer’s.
We had our normal afternoon—singing, walking, looking at the view, mom playing the piano, the two of us tossing her stuffed animals back and forth, smiling and laughing.
Enjoying one another.
As I leave, she calls out, Be thankful for everything you have. Be thankful.
As I said, distilled to her essence.
Let me be clear, Mom lived in an excellent supported living facility and I was able to visit and then go home knowing that she was safe, well cared for and loved. Full time, 24-hour caregivers don’t have that luxury. They need the support of a Dementia Friendly Community. One that offers resources and respite for care givers, engagement and empowerment for their loved ones and opportunities for both to relax and laugh and enjoy life together.
To learn more, visit http://www.momentiaseattle.org/