Following a dementia diagnosis, you might experience a change in your existing relationships with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.
This is difficult to understand especially since you need more support and a listening ear more than ever.
Canadians living with dementia are going public for a third consecutive year in an effort to change hearts and minds. They are courageously stepping forward with their personal stories in the Alzheimer Society’s nation-wide campaign, I live with dementia. Let me help you understand as part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in January.
I was excited when I heard about the Voices in Motion Choir as it brought together my love of music and my volunteer work. I was seeing how music could carry people back in time and bring back memories, or just bring happiness with beautiful melodies—it was a very satisfying pleasure indeed.
Little did I know how passionate I would become about choral music and its benefits in my life. I just couldn’t get enough – the harmonies that were created when different voice types sang together – it was magical.
One definition that people have found helpful is this: Grief is your reaction to what you miss that you no longer have that used to be. Those with dementia can face compounded losses as the disease progresses. Family members also experience challenges as they watch their loved one transition in their dementia journey.
Diversion, my favourite tactic. It’s like pointing out a cat or a squirrel to my dog. All things before the chase ensues has been forgotten. Since my Mom’s dementia has progressed to the point of having a non-existent short-term memory, the hope of maintaining any type of conversation has dried up.
Susan-Rose and Bram are a duet in our Voices in Motion choir. We went out for lunch and heard about the early days of their time in Montreal, how they met and all the juicy moments in between. We learned about their careers, hobbies, and family members. We laughed a lot together.