Thanksgiving is almost here, and despite the best efforts of retailers, it is still a day built upon family, friendship, and thankfulness. If someone in your family suffers from dementia, the holidays may not possess the same shine that they used to. However, even though your loved one may not be as they once were, there is still much that you can be thankful for on this day. Even the greatest challenges give us learning moments and make us stronger. Here are five things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving:
Living In The Moment
Time is fleeting, and if someone in your family is living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s easy to wish they were like their old selves. That just isn’t going to happen. Instead of wishing for what might have been, live in the now and appreciate your loved one for who they are. Be thankful that they are still a part of your life and your family during this Thanksgiving.
Your Wonderful Family and Friends
No burden is impossible to shoulder if you have enough people to help you carry it. Never forget to lean on your family and friends in your moments of stress, doubt, or confusion, which happen a lot when a family member has dementia. These are the people who love you, support you, and will gladly take you at your worst. This Thanksgiving, take a moment to be grateful that each of these friends and family members is in your life.
Moments of Clarity and Connection
Take joy in the moments when your family member is focused and aware. Listen to them and celebrate the stories they tell and the memories they can still share. Many who suffer from dementia will forget recent events first but will still retain older memories for a long time. Thanksgiving is all about retelling old family stories. These stories bind a family together, re-nourishing the bond you share with your spouse, children, siblings, parents, cousins, and others. Invite your loved one to share in these stories and be thankful for the joy and laughter these stories can still bring.
Your Own Inner Strength
Watching a loved one battle dementia and providing care and support can be very difficult, but every challenge is also an opportunity to find a strength you didn’t know you have. If you look back over the course of your loved one’s diagnosis, you might be surprised at how much you’ve changed as a person. You have dug deep during the hardest moments and forged a new and steely strength. Be thankful for this strength and use it as you and your family continue to support your loved one.
Your Compassion and Love
Caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s is the ultimate act of love. Even if your loved one is in a home that specializes in memory care, like Sunshine Care, the fact that you still visit, still call, and still keep your family member in your heart shows your compassion. As your loved one progresses deeper into dementia, they may no longer be able to express gratitude for your support. When you can still love and care for them, you have discovered a very rare, pure, and selfless love that will honor them greatly. Be thankful that you have a heart capable of such selfless compassion and make sure you continue to use it to make a positive impact on the world!
At Sunshine Care we have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for all of our amazing, inspiring, and wonderful residents and their gracious and loving families. We are also grateful for our compassionate staff members who demonstrate such love, kindness, and patience each and every day.
We wish you a truly thankful, wonderful, and happy Thanksgiving!
Categories: Memory Care