painful care partner choices: love or loss (or sometimes both)?


UK dementia care pioneer David Sheard talks about two stark choices that each of us who loves someone who lives with dementia must make at some point in the journey – maybe even multiple times every day. Both choices, both paths, are painful. But one of the two creates the possibility for love, compassion, joy, and growth, while the other inevitably leads to regret, sorrow, despair and loss.

In the video below, Sheard speaks in reference to family and friends visiting loved ones who live with dementia in long-term care. But I think his wisdom applies equally to those who are primary care partners and living with their loved ones on a full or part-time basis in their homes or in the community.

Of the dozens of videos I’ve watched on dementia care, this is the one that I think is perhaps the most important of all in fundamentally changing the way we approach co-creating and maintaining loving and productive relationships with those whom we love one who live with dementia. It underlies everything else. I invite you to watch and share. Thank you.

what if everything we’ve been taught about dementia care is a lie?

5 ways to make toast in long-term dementia care

Subscribe to MAS now & get 5 free PDFs & a page of welcome links:

Take my short survey on behaviour here.

Image copyright: shaiith / 123RF Stock Photo


  1. I had a dream about my mother last night as she was while still alive, but well into her Alzheimer’s. She was laughing and enjoying life, just as she has while alive. I miss her….

  2. I chose, learning to love the person she is now. I actually made that decision from the day we got married and then again when we got diagnosis.

    We just had to take our journey through life together on a different road.


    • Ah. What a beautiful thing to have done Wilbur. You two were (and are!) truly blessed to have found each other. Your love story is an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing it <3

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.