After reading this article, again and again, it gives me chills. Personally and professionally, I have worked with and have loved individuals suffering from Alzheimer's, and I believe the greatest gift we can give to them is our “presence". I realize showing -up and being present as a family member, care partner or close friend is mentally and physically taxing. Just remember, when you are debating whether or not to visit individual suffering from Alzheimer's because you are thinking to yourself, "Will they even know that I am there? Do they even know my name? Does it even matter to them if I come or not"? Keep in mind, we as human beings benefit from touch, and most of us are comforted by a squeeze of the hand, a gentle hug or a shoulder to lean on. Never underestimate the power of your "presence".
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As a family care partner, we are usually scurrying around, trying to accomplish a variety of tasks. Our time is usually limited, our lists are endless and our energy is usually depleted. All that being said, our main job is to take care of our loved one.
As my mentor, Teepa Snow, always as, “ I am who I was but I am different” , when she is describing an individual with dementia. As we are all aware, dementia robs our loved ones’ of their self-awareness, ability to think sequentially and to express themselves verbally. It does not take away their love for music, poetry, rhythm, and prayer.