Once upon an online caregiver support group, Sandra Wampfler Quinn-Allwein was frustrated by a spate of negativity.
People share everything from soup to nuts in such groups, which are a godsend for many on the difficult journey of dementia care. Care partners talk about joys, sorrows, and challenges. They ask questions and provide answers. They grieve and celebrate together.
Most care partners will tell you that the role into which they have been unwillingly drafted is one of the toughest, if not THE toughest thing they’ve ever done. It can be gut-wrenching and soul-destroying. It’s hardly surprising that fuses sometimes shorten and comments spiral in unintended directions.
When that happened on this particular day, Quinn-Allwein decided to reverse the wave of negativity with one simple question: “What has caring for a person living with dementia taught you?”
The responses came fast and furious. Here are the top fifteen:
These types of groups are closed and secret, and sharing individual comments is prohibited for the sake of privacy. But the list above is generic and anonymous, and I’ve posted it to support and inspire.
Being a care partner is a roller coaster of emotions. It can also be a tremendous learning experience if we choose to let it teach us.
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