A Thank You

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a thank you from your loved ones with dementia, but because they can’t always say it, I will say it for them.

1. To the spouses, who come to visit their significant others in long-term care, but always make it about their loved one—and not about themselves. 

2. Thank you to the family members who come to visit a loved one, and also manage to say “hi” to the other residents.

3. To the family members who don’t say “you live here now” to their loved ones with dementia.

4. To the visitors who live in their loved one’s reality, instead of trying to drag them into their’s.

5. Thank you to the family members who bring baked goods to the hands-on caregivers as a way of saying thanks.

6. To the visitors who don’t talk about their loved ones with dementia in front of them, as if they are invisible.

7. To the family members who understand that sometimes things go wrong in long-term care communities, but that the staff is trying their best.

8. To the visitors who bring pets and gifts from home for their loved ones.

9. For the visitors who understand dementia, and seek to learn more about it.

10. To all of the people that love someone with dementia, and seek to make the caregiving world a better place.

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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