A Grandmother’s Heart


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A short story about my first community from 2014, redrafted for 2021.

It had been raining hard all day. The storm seemed to be getting worse, and this always upset our residents.

Sometimes, when it rained, I would take to closing the windows so that they couldn’t see how dreary it was outside.

I always found that our residents were happier and more active when the sun was shining as opposed to when it was dark and cloudy.

At about 6:00 PM, I began packing up my things to go home for the day. My favorite resident, Vera, stopped me in the hallway.

“Are you leaving? In all this rain?” Vera asked.

“Yes, I think I’ll be okay, though, I’m not too far away,” I smiled.

“Well, you can stay in our room if you want,” she suggested. “We can get an extra bed and I’ll make it up for you and you can stay with us,” Vera said.

Obviously, I could not stay in one of my residents’ rooms, but I was so moved by her grandmotherly kindness.

She had offered to take me in for the night, just so I wouldn’t have to go out in a thunderstorm.

I think that when people think “dementia care,” they don’t picture what really happens in this type of care. They have no idea how special and how beautiful these moments are. I miss working in dementia care each day for times like this one.

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2 thoughts on “A Grandmother’s Heart”

  1. Elder care is a “calling”! Just as many other professions. I learned many valuable life lessons from my experience in long-term care. Each holds a special place in my heart!

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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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