When a person in your life is diagnosed with dementia, visits can get harder. But showing up is one of the best ways to give support and stability. So, let’s all keep calling, visiting and being there for people living with dementia. Even if it’s not easy. Even if they don’t remember. Even if they change.
Keep doing what they love.
For Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we asked for stories from people living with dementia, caregivers, friends and family. This is how they like to stay connected. Read on to get inspired, and keep dancing, walking, singing and showing up for the people in your own life.
Granville Johnson’s song, “The Day Will Come,” a chant
set to music and rhythm, puts his own dementia journey
into words with undeniable power and resonance.
Keep going out to eat.
“My wife and I enjoy going to restaurants during the
weekends with our friends and schoolmates. We just
eat and eat and eat.”
Barbie takes her mom out for drives and they sing all the hits together.― Barbie, Penticton
Linda, a lifelong Girl Guide, stays active with her best
bud and former Girl Guide, Ruth. They continue to go
hiking, biking, camping and paddling. Linda's little dog,
Bentley, often joins as well.
Keep going for Dim Sum.
“We enjoy talking on the phone to keep connected if we're
unable to see each other. If we can see each other, we will go
for dim sum. Sometimes we call each other to arrange to meet
and have dim sum together!”
“I’m lucky in having a few friends and when we go out for
lunch, we talk about the subjects that we’ve talked about for 10
years. Not that we’re repeating. We’re talking about the stock
market and politics. I enjoy that.”
Keep bringing kids around.
"I took my small child with me to visit my mother in the
long-term care home where she lives now. She lit up, as did
many of the other residents."
Victoria continues to attend the First Baptist Church, attends Minds in Motion®, and leads pierogi and cinnamon roll-making sessions for her family. “She cooks by touch more than memory, and it always works out,” her son Robert says.― Victoria, Prince George
Keep sharing books.
“In the beginning stages, my mom did enjoy watching movies
and TV, but she finds it hard to follow the plot, which is why
books seem to have replaced that activity. Basically, if there is
something she enjoys doing, I just try to cultivate that.”
Keep playing music.
Since she was diagnosed with dementia, Louise has continued
to apply her patience and positivity to her loves: family, music
and leadership within her church. Louise still plays piano and
organ, leads her church choir and prepares meals for large
numbers of people at church events.
Keep going for dinner.
“I join a few fellows at a table a few nights each week for
dinner. We talk about the news, our families, what we’ve been
Keep watching planes.
"I remember when my mother was living in long-term care. I’d
visit to watch planes land and take off from one of the lounges
Keep watching shows.
Thelma and Manny enjoy watching movies and
television series together.
"Sometimes when we’re listening to music, he reaches
out to move my arms as though we’re dancing,” Laileen
says. “He will light up suddenly and surprise me. He’ll
sway to the music and tap his feet. This is quality of life
and I treasure it.”
“I like to golf with my wife and friends.”
“We have always enjoyed the outdoors. We’ve spent a lot of
time on our patio just watching the hummingbirds and we
often go on picnics in the summer. We even enjoy winter
picnics, weather permitting.”
Teresa wishes family and friends would join her in using adult
Keep going to the gym.
"There's a group of people we socialize with through the gym.
We see each other for Christmas and Thanksgiving. They are
my home away from home as I’m not originally from
Vancouver. It's hard north of 50 to come to a new town and
Keep playing soccer.
"I like doing physical activities like going for a walk together
and going to soccer."
Keep playing Mahjong.
“I like playing mahjong with my family and friends.”
“We like camping. We love to get out into the forest to find a
nice spot and get away from telephones. It’s a very enjoyable
Keep checking in.
“I also use Skype with some friends who live in Ontario, one in
Toronto, one in Ottawa, usually once a week or so. Keeps us
engaged and ‘checking in’ with each other.”
Keep soaking up the sun.
“Life can be very good. Whatever life has given you, you have
to experience it as best you can. Go and look at the sunshine
today. Go talk or listen to somebody. Be as content as you can
with what you have.”