Dear Dementia Family Caregivers,
Taking care of a loved one with dementia, under normal circumstances, is challenging enough, but now, to be completely confined to the house and/or not being able to visit your loved one in a care community has been inconceivable.
I know what a tremendous impact this pandemic has had on you. For some, it’s been barely tolerable, for others it’s been unbelievably challenging and stressful. For many, your heart aches because you can’t go to see your loved one, and for most, you’re making the best of these unprecedented times.
Either way, I would like every dementia caregiver to know what an AMAZING person you are. Even under the worst of circumstances, you’re still going out of your way to provide the best care possible for your loved one. And, for those of you who have a loved one in a care community – they are being well taken care of. And, that’s because YOU have provided that care for your loved one. Although you may not physically be able to visit your loved one, your love and compassion continues – it doesn’t stop because you can’t be with them.
Every day, I’m moved and touched by the internal strength that each and every one of you have. I’m moved and touched by the outpouring of love, compassion and care you provide day in and day out even under these unsettling times.
I’m writing this letter because of the numerous phone calls I receive and caregivers not giving themselves enough credit for their dedication and commitment as they do their best to survive sheltering in place.
They share with me the guilt they feel for losing their temper when their loved one asks the same question for the millionth time, or how much they want to run away because they feel suffocated by their loved one because their loved one follows them everywhere they go, or they tell me what a horrible person they are because they raise their voice when their loved one doesn’t cooperate.
This doesn’t negate what an AMAZING person you are.
People who know me, know how dedicated I am to helping dementia family caregivers survive the dementia journey to the best of their ability. They know how dedicated I am to provide them with emotional support. They know how dedicated I am to provide them with as many caregiver strategies I can to try to help diffuse their immediate problem(s) or issue(s).
Often, I will end our conversation by saying, “dementia has robbed you and your loved one of enough. PLEASE don’t let dementia rob you of your love, value, self – esteem, self – confidence, importance and purpose!!”
So, I wanted to take this time to share this same message globally to all of the dementia family caregivers around the world, and on behalf of your loved one and myself, I want to THANK YOU for all of your LOVE, CARE and SUPPORT!!!
You are a blessing and a gift to all of those who know you!
You are also heroes of the Coronavirus pandemic!
I’m thinking about each and every one of you!
Tami Anastasia, M.A.
Dementia Consultant, Educator and Caregiver Strategist
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