Everyone has a story to tell about their life, habits and characteristics that makes everyone special and unique. Focusing on who you are and what you enjoy can keep us fulfilled.
“Keeping your identity is very important, when you meet someone new they usually ask what you do for a job but once you have dementia you do not have that anymore so it is important to still do things that are important to you.”
“I continue to do the things that I enjoy like teaching, learning and sharing my experience with others.”
“I try to keep my sense of identity by teaching as that was at the core of who I was when I was working and who I have always been to some extent, since I was a child.”
“I work with many different companies within dementia. It is a way of me still working and giving back. I also keep my office full of my accomplishments as it reminds me of who I am”
Celebrate who you are and what you have done in your life at every opportunity.
Create a memory book with friends and family, it is fun to do together and will create a valuable tool to help trigger memories in years to come.
Start to compile an 'about me' file. Include things like who you are, what you like to do, what is most important to you in your life. Also add in all your likes and dislikes, music, food, topics of discussion, your interest, religion. Do you like to get up early or go to bed late? Capture as much about you as possible in the early stages of your journey. This can be so important as years go on, you might need some external support and this will be really helpful for anyone to get to know you better.
The diagnosis of dementia does not take away who you are! You are still a spouse/life partner, friend, grandparent, sibling, colleague, first and foremost. Dementia does not define who you are and who you have been in your life.
October 13, 2020