Whether you are a professional who is caring for many, a family member who is caring a loved one with dementia symptoms, or a community member who interacts regularly with people living with dementia, you will benefit from becoming dementia aware. When we raise our level of dementia awareness, we amplify the support, love and compassion that is given to those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Everyone in the community benefits.
It is my privilege to share my vision and message of hope with caregivers who are inspired to open their hearts and enhance the care they are providing. Here are some of the many ways we can come together to elevate awareness in our communities.
Better understand dementia: The first step to understanding anything that feels intimidating or even scary is to try and understand it. This is particularly true for dementia, which is often accompanied by an unfair, but very real stigma because of so many unknowns that come along with a diagnosis. When you take steps to truly understand someone’s experience, you can begin to break down this stigma. Here is a video that gives a great overview of what it’s like to live with dementia. And you can find my book here.
Find and celebrate moments of joy: It can be challenging to find moments of joy and purpose throughout the rollercoaster of dementia. Searching for more moments of meaning and purpose throughout the caregiving journey can make it a more joyful one for both the caregiver and the one being cared for.
Connect with other caregivers: Sharing experiences is so important to feeling understood and supported. As caregivers, when you connect other caregivers, you are opening yourself up to feeling safe in sharing your frustrations and fears. On the other hand, you can share the many moments of joy that you will encounter. In turn, you are able to provide an even higher level of care because you are never facing this journey alone. I would love for you to join our Facebook community of caregivers.
Become a Dementia Aware Safe Space: We need safe spaces in our community, where caregivers and those in their care feel understood and supported. Every business and person can become one of these Safe Spaces by understanding the experience of living with dementia, and considering how you can contribute to a more positive one.
Professional training: It takes a village to successfully care for someone living with dementia symptoms, and this is true whether someone is caring for someone professionally or personally. Sometimes professional training is needed to support a professional’s unique needs when they interact with the memory impaired on a daily basis. I am proud to offer dementia training customized to first responders, care organizations and RN/LVNs.
Together, we can bring light to the darkness that sometimes accompanies dementia. You’ve already taken the first step by reading this. I hope you will join me in becoming dementia aware.