Getting the news that a loved one has dementia can be heartbreaking. It can often leave a person feeling lost when it comes to what should be done next. As we approach Valentine’s Day and in honor of Kemper House Worthington’s culture built around love, we want to help give you a place to start to love through actions.
Loving Through Education
One of the best ways to show your love for someone who has been diagnosed with dementia is to educate yourself about the disease. This can be one of the scariest actions to take – looking into the future of what a dementia diagnosis can mean.
This is where compassion starts.
Knowing more about the disease will allow you to find empathy and prepare for the future. You’ll learn that dementia is not a death sentence. While some things may change, the person you love is always there. Facing the fear of the unknown is an act of love that we can all share.
Loving Through Language
With the people we love, we speak in shortcuts. Little things that come from old stories or inside jokes. This language that can be spoken between loved ones can be a precious part of any relationship.
Dementia is going to bring out new languages between you and your loved one. You will find ways of communicating that helps them feel safe, avoids confusion, and keeps you both grounded. Knowing how to talk with your loved one when they are most agitated, and their world is confusing is an incredible act of love and compassion.
You already know the foundation of this language. Continuing to grow with it is a beautiful way to care for a loved one.
Loving Through Care
A dementia diagnosis of a loved one often turns us into caregivers. Caregiving is one of the most draining professions to undertake. This situation thrusts you into the position of becoming a caregiver without formal training. This sacrifice is an incredible act of compassion and something to be celebrated.
But there is a lot more to this decision than just wanting to care for a loved one. You also must consider the ways your space will need to change to make life workable for you and your loved one. You have to consider the resources required to make it all possible. Most of all, you should think about the toll this work will have on you.
Love isn’t always about sacrificing everything for someone you love. The act of loving someone can mean finding a situation that is best for both of you.
Many see dementia care as giving up on someone or a failure on their part because they can no longer be the caregiver. Finding the best care is never surrendering. It’s understanding that there are other opportunities to care for your loved one and care for yourself, which is exactly what your loved one would want. Specialized dementia care is a great option and finding a community like Kemper House Worthington can be an incredible act of love.
Love is an Action
Dementia is not the end. It is a new chapter of a life that remains beautiful. Love does not sour with dementia; it is at the heart of everything that comes next. Educating yourself, learning and using the language that brings them comfort, and finding the best version of care for the both of you are just some of the ways you can act on your love.
What are some ways that you show your love? Share with us on Facebook!
Schedule a tour of Kemper House Worthington to learn more about our premier Alzheimer’s and dementia care community in the greater Columbus area.