Life When You Have A Relative With Dementia

Life When You Have A Relative With Dementia

Cherish the moments, because they may not last forever.
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Most of us know about Alzheimer's and dementia. They're diseases of the brain, and they gradually affect one's memory and mental ability to the point where someone doesn't remember how to perform basic everyday tasks. It can make life much harder not only for the person who suffers from it, but for their entire family as well. My grandmother has late-stage dementia, and here's a few things I have learned while watching her suffer from this disease.

Dementia can be heartbreaking. To have to watch my grandpa take care of my grandma as if she were five years old again is difficult to watch. When I see my grandma, most of the time she recognizes that I am an important person to her, but it breaks my heart a little every time she asks who I am because she doesn't quite remember why I am important. I constantly call her "Mamaw," so she knows who she is to me, and that maybe next time she'll remember that I am her granddaughter. It makes me sad to see her mind deteriorating, and I can only imagine how much more difficult it is for my mom, and my aunts and uncles to see their mother like this, let alone my grandpa. It's hard, but we get through it one day at a time.

Dementia can take a huge toll on a person, mentally, emotionally and physically. My grandpa is 81 years old and he has aged so much since my grandma's dementia started to progress. He has to help her take a bath, help her get dressed, and keep a constant eye on her to make sure she is OK and not getting herself into trouble. It's tiring for him, and when my mom or an aunt or uncle or even one of us grandchildren come to help out for a day, it can become tiring for us as well, but we're always glad to give grandpa a little break.

Most importantly, dementia can make you love more strongly and appreciate family. To be honest, before my grandma got dementia, I didn't visit my grandparents as often as I do now. I realized the importance of spending time with family, especially your grandparents. They aren't around forever, whether it be mentally or physically, so spending time with some of the most special people in your life is precious time that shouldn't be wasted. You celebrate the little things in life. I always get so happy when my grandma remembers something that she couldn't before, or when she constantly wants to hug me and my sister tight and never let go, because "my girls" came to visit. It makes her so happy when she sees us, and that makes my heart full knowing that this brings her joy.

Life with a grandmother who has dementia can be difficult but when there's love, you can never fail to succeed.

I love you, Mamaw.

Cover Image Credit: Gabrielle Canterbury

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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9 Reasons Your Grandparents Are The Best Gifts You'll Ever Receive

They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand.

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Grandparents are special. They are the leaders and foundations of our families. They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand. The spoil us way too often! My grandparents mean the world to me. The picture above is one of my favorite photos with both my mother and my grandfather when I was a little girl. They are some of the best people in my life and have always set a good example for me. Cherish them while you can because they won't always be around! Here are nine reasons your grandparents are the best gifts you'll ever receive!

1. They give the best advice.

2. They have a lot of life experience and are willing to share it with you.

3. Their smile makes your heart warm.

4. They are so intelligent.

5. They have the best stories to share.

6. They are a great example of love.

7. Their hugs are like no other.

8. They spoil their grandchildren.

9. They love you unconditionally.

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