A Breakup.


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I wrote a post a few weeks ago about a new couple in our dementia care community. We all loved seeing them together. It really seemed like they enjoyed each other’s company, and, more than anything, it seemed like a wonderful emotional connection. 

Recently, they broke up. It wasn’t by choice; instead, it was a kind of Romeo-and-Juliet-situation. 

Matthew’s* family had found a new home for him. As they moved his belongings out of his room, Rachel* argued with his adult children.

“He’ll hate it there,” she said. “He needs to stay here, he loves it here,” she cried, desperately trying to persuade them to let him stay.

All of the associates stood around quietly. There was nothing that we could do—this was not our decision to make.

For the past couple of days, Rachel has paced the hallways as usual, but now she is alone while she walks. She is well-liked, and has many friends, but she was always hand-in-hand with Matthew.

Yesterday she announced that “Matthew had called her.” No one is entirely sure if that is true, but we’re happy for her all the same.

“He’s coming back soon. He’ll be back,” she said, confidently. 

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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