“Having dementia is an adventure, not a disease”

I came across these inspiring articles about living with dementia. You can also find the original articles by clicking on the headlines.

The message is clear: they still have the capacity to enjoy life and want to be involved in their community. So let’s encourage and support them by making sure people with dementia have a good social network and live in the right environment. This is key to their health and wellbeing.

The Momentia movement helps people with dementia contribute to society, and lessens the stigma that can accompany diagnosis

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Dementia is an Adventure, not a Disease

Dementia is an adventure, not a disease

I came across this post on the Changing Aging blog (a good read, by the way). I think it also expresses my thoughts that Alzheimer’s and other dementias are certainly an adventure. You don’t know what is around the next corner, you don’t know where it is going or what will happen along the way, in a very real way, the loved ones and caregivers are along for the ride.

But I don’t think it needs to be all sad and loss-related. There are some wonderful experiences interacting with someone with dementia. One of my favorite endearing qualities of people with dementia, is that they lose their ability to lie – so when they ask you who you are, they are genuinely interested in you in that moment, if they are excited about their favorite food, they will do a little ice cream dance. And these glimpses of genuine self-expression are the little golden nuggets that make me smile at the end of the day. I have a hard time expressing to people why I enjoy working with people with dementia so much (it was even harder when I was in my 20s), but if they haven’t done it, they can’t understand how rewarding it is to learn to see someone’s personality through all the dementia noise.

Many people think it is depressing to work with dementia, and I am hoping to challenge that stigma through my work and let people know that living with dementia, like anything in life, is a journey – an adventure. No, it will not always be pleasant, but it will not always be unpleasant, either. And much like other things in life, the adventure is richer when we share it with others!

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