#WordsOfComfort

Finding a way to stay connected during this time of stress and social distancing.

During the spread of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, we are all feeling more lonely and disconnected. If you are living with or caring for someone with dementia that feeling is even stronger. Both family members and healthcare staff are feeling this stress too.

We began #WordsOfComfort to bring us together and share words of support, advice and comfort as we move through this time. We hope these words of comfort help each of us to know that we are not alone.

I thought I could do everything by myself to care for my husband with Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s. I didn’t want to impose on people by asking for help. I’ve always been the person who supports others, not the recipient. When my husband had a significant medical event, I was very overwhelmed physically, emotionally, and financially. Family, friends, and co-workers jumped in to support us. I finally had to let go of the notion that I could take care of him myself, and learned how to ask for help. When I did, my burden was lessened. I find this quote by Cory Booker to be spot on: “Sometimes asking for help is the most meaningful example of self-reliance.”— from the poem “Sometimes” by U.S. Senator Cory Booker

When I think of the caregivers that I’ve come to know and love, I am blown away by the sheer force of their devotion, advocacy and unconditional love for their companions, most often the spouse. I think of how they are taking those marriage vows to heart while at the same time experiencing such profound sadness and loss.

I have worked with caregivers for persons living with dementia for almost 20 years as a family physician/geriatrician at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. I always am awe-struck at the transcendence caregivers go through during their journey supporting persons living with dementia. The dedication caregivers show in recognizing the “human-ness” in their loved ones always humbles me.