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Notebook

DEMENTIA: In Honor of Those We Know or Knew with Dementia




โ€œ๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, Iโ€™d like my family to hang this wish list up on the wall where I live. I want them to remember these things.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, I want my friends and family to embrace my reality. If I think my spouse is still alive, or if I think weโ€™re visiting my parents for dinner, let me believe those things. Iโ€™ll be much happier for it.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, donโ€™t argue with me about what is true for me versus what is true for you.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, and I am not sure who you are, do not take it personally. My timeline is confusing to me.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, and can no longer use utensils, do not start feeding me. Instead, switch me to a finger-food diet, and see if I can still feed myself.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, and I am sad or anxious, hold my hand and listen. Do not tell me that my feelings are unfounded.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, I donโ€™t want to be treated like a child. Talk to me like the adult that I am.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, I still want to enjoy the things that Iโ€™ve always enjoyed. Help me find a way to exercise, read, and visit with friends.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, ask me to tell you a story from my past.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, and I become agitated, take the time to figure out what is bothering me.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, treat me the way that you would want to be treated.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, make sure that there are plenty of snacks for me in the house. Even now if I donโ€™t eat I get angry, and if I have dementia, I may have trouble explaining what I need.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, donโ€™t talk about me as if Iโ€™m not in the room.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, donโ€™t feel guilty if you cannot care for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Itโ€™s not your fault, and youโ€™ve done your best. Find someone who can help you, or choose a great new place for me to live.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, and I live in a dementia care community, please visit me often.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, donโ€™t act frustrated if I mix up names, events, or places. Take a deep breath. Itโ€™s not my fault.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, make sure I always have my favorite music playing within earshot.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, and I like to pick up items and carry them around, help me return those items to their original places.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, donโ€™t exclude me from parties and family gatherings.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, know that I still like receiving hugs or handshakes.


๐ผ๐’ป ๐ผ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘’๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ถ, remember that I am still the person you know and love."

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