A Breakup, Part 2.


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“Oh, wasn’t that so wonderful?” Rachel sighed happily, climbing into the bus.

We had just visited a local daycare to read to some children there. Although I had taken my residents nearly every Tuesday for months, it was Rachel’s first time joining us. 

I wrote a story a few weeks ago about Rachel* and Matthew*. A romantic relationship had begun between the two of them, but it was broken up soon after it started when Matthew’s family moved him to another community.

When he left, we all feared the worst. Before she started seeing Matthew, Rachel avoided any activities or outings. With his influence, however, she became active and significantly more outgoing. Rachel’s family was sad to see him go.

“Mom was doing so well,” they lamented.

To everyone’s surprise, however, Matthew’s absence did not cause Rachel to withdraw socially. In fact, her interactions with others continued improving. It was as though her love for Matthew had inspired her to come out of her shell, even after he had left. She came on outings, baked with us, and even made new friends.

“Did you all have fun!” she asked the rest of the group on the bus. “I sure did!”


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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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