Once, dementia of all types was believed to be a sentence of gloom, doom and tragedy.
The only way to get out of this sentence was if there was a cure for this cruel disease.
Today, the diagnosis of dementia can be a powerful catalyst to richer life for those living with dementia, their care partners (not just care givers), and all others who love and serve them.
When my husband was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in 2008, both of us thought the worst thing that could happen was for his MCI to grow into dementia. Determined not to let that happen if possible, I researched everything I could find that could positively impact the experience of dementia and hopefully slow down its impact, or even turn it around. The scattered best things I found since then have focused on meditation, especially mindfulness, most forms of exercise and movement, engagement with others rather than isolation, and all forms of creativity.
The movie, I Remember Better When I Paint which was released in 2009 and often plays on public television, was a vision-changer for me, but John resisted trying art of any kind until about 6 years ago when friends talked him into taking improv classes with him. He came back so enlivened that he stuck with improv until Covid stopped it.
Shortly after John was diagnosed with dementia, likely Alzheimer’s with mixed characteristics, in 2019, we discovered Dementia Action Alliance and suddenly we discovered a new world of resources and allies to support us spiritually, emotionally, and practically. Though DAA has been around for over 25 years, few people yet know it. DAA led us to Dementia Mentors, through which John has weekly mentoring sessions with Craig, who has become like a best friend and brother.
Just over a year ago we connected with the new Reimagining Dementia, a creative coalition for justice for people like us around the world.
We want you to know who and what we’ve discover to help you and your loved ones thrive when dementia enters your lives. We are loaded with resources, best wishes and lots of blog posts in mind. Check us after April for more, as we are fast adding content here and throughout the site.
In the meantime, check our latest blog posts for more about your options for thriving with dementia. Blessings to you, Pat and John Sullivan