47 things family dementia care partners say they’ve learned

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Most family members who are dementia 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. And yet, many will also tell you that plenty of learning goes on as well.

Here’s what they said when I asked family members who are also dementia care partners to fill in the blank in this sentence: “I’ve learned ____________.”

  1. I’m only human
  2. shit happens
  3. I am the only one I can depend on
  4. housework isn’t a priority
  5. a little lying can be a good thing
  6. you can’t control anyone else but you
  7. not to waste a moment of my life on negative feelings like bitterness, jealousy, or anger
  8. I am stronger than I ever thought I could be and weaker than I ever wished to be
  9. joy and healing are possible even the in the midst of tragedy and despair
  10. people who tell you to be a vocal advocate often get frustrated when you become one
  11. life is fleeting and love is enduring
  12. I have control over how I react and respond
  13. some day is today
  14. who I am doesn’t depend on what I do
  15. dementia does not rob a person of who she is
  16. caring is not what you say, it’s what you do
  17. all things pass
  18. people with dementia behave like the rest of us
  19. love prevails
  20. I’m great at counting to 10
  21. you never know what’s going on in someone else’s mind
  22. that people are much more than the disease they may have
  23. if I can make my loved one smile, my day isn’t so bad
  24. that everything is relative
  25. who my friends are
  26. how amazing my friends are
  27. how little I need
  28. how to redirect
  29. to live in the moment
  30. to love unconditionally
  31. to breathe and wait
  32. to let love in
  33. to look at life differently
  34. to listen with my heart
  35. to live with the glass half full
  36. to not sweat the small stuff
  37. to slow down
  38. to expect the unexpected
  39. to pick my battles
  40. to enjoy our time together
  41. to see humour in small things
  42. to make conversation about anything
  43. to see the beauty in small ways
  44. to never take things or people for granted
  45. to invest in those who are really here for me
  46. to be non-judgemental
  47. to say i love you more often

There are 15 more learnings here.

Being a family dementia care partner is a roller coaster of tragically raw and sometimes uplifting emotions. It can also be a tremendous learning experience if we choose to let it teach us. What have you learned so far?

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Image copyright: maglara / 123RF Stock Photo

2 Comments

  1. There is so much behind the words in every single one of those mini-statements. It is a raw journey that makes your soul bleed a bit. Blessings to you and all the others that are caretakers….xo Diana

    • You’re right Diana, there’s a whole lived experienced behind each one. I hadn’t really stopped to contemplate that. Thanks for shining a light on the depth behind the statements <3

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