I have to say when I first started working with dementia, I didn't know much about dementia. This was about 10 years ago.
I loved working with older adults. I had a lot of experience working with older adults and their families and I had very little experience working with older adults with dementia and their families. And I was like, "what can I do with folks with dementia? What can I do with families? I don't know." I was at a loss for how to help.
Thankfully, I was raised to not give up and to find a way to communicate with people regardless of their ability. And so what I did was I learned and learned and learned and learned as much as I could about caring for folks and families with dementia.
Over time, I actually developed an expertise in caring for families with dementia disorders and now I educate other mental health providers, other medical providers on caring for older adults with dementia and their families. So what started as a, "I don't ever want to work with folks with dementia" became an area of love and expertise.
There's so much that we can do as health professionals to help folks with dementia and help families with dementia. And I'm so glad that I challenged myself to chip away at the assumptions, biases, and roadblocks that I had in my own mind about working with folks with dementia and their families and really deepen my understanding of myself, my own roadblocks, and then my understanding of others and how I can be of service to families with dementia.
What I do want to say and what I want to stress is that a lot of providers that I work with, a lot of health providers, mental health providers will say, "well, this family has dementia, there's nothing I can do." And I want to just say that YOU'RE WRONG. If you have that belief (you're wrong) and there is so much that you CAN do and PM me and I'll help you figure that out. There so much that we can do to help families living with dementia disorders and to help folks living with dementia disorders live their best lives and have optimal health and functioning even in the midst of dementia. So there you have it.
That's all for today. And in wrapping up, I wanted to remind you about the freebie that I made about dementia called Dementia 101: A Beginner's Guide to Dementia Disorders. Take a minute and download it. It will really help you out. If this video was helpful, be sure to subscribe and don't forget to share this video with your friends who are caring for their aging parents because nobody should have to do this caregiving thing alone.
I'll send you tips and resources for caring for your aging parents... and yourself!
I'll never share your email. Cross my heart!