‘Sally’ hopes her words will raise awareness of the condition’s progression and how it impacts her life
Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Doughty did a series of one-to-one programs this summer with a younger resident of the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home who has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
During these sessions, the resident, whom we will call Sally, dictated to Christina her thoughts on what living with cognitive impairment is like. Her words also illustrate how the condition’s progression impacts her life.
Sally’s goal is simple: she wants others to have a glimpse of what it is like to live with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and to understand how she feels about what she has lost and what fond memories she can recall.
“When we started doing this, she told me she wanted to raise awareness for anyone that is going through dementia or anyone who has a loved one that has dementia,” Christina says.
Sally also describes the empathy she has for new residents and how she understands their anxieties and fears.
During the coming weeks, The OMNIway will be featuring more excerpts from Sally’s story.
This is Sally’s story:
Broken promises. A lot of people say that they will be there. Always. If you need anything. Anything at all.
However, I don’t see these people or their said promises. That’s the only help that I need is for people to visit. To follow through with their promises.
My mother has moved and she’s doing very well, but yet nobody has told her what is happening with me and how it will end death.
It’s not fair for a woman that age to go through that; to watch her daughter crumble from such an awful disease.
There was a meeting the other day, I spoke about when there is a new person they need to be paired up. It’s a terrifying experience. They cry for three days. Sometimes they die. Which makes me so sad because they didn’t know what was going to happen.
Families don’t know. Get out the brush and get on to another one.