My wife’s sister posted this on Face Book and I wanted to
If I get dementia, I’d like my family to hang this wish list
up on the wall where I live. I want them to remember these things.
1. If I get dementia,
I want my friends and family to embrace my reality.
2. If I think my
spouse is still alive, or if I think we’re visiting my parents for dinner, let
me believe those things. I’ll be much happier for it.
3. If I get dementia,
don’t argue with me about what is true for me versus what is true for you.
4. If I get dementia,
and I am not sure who you are, do not take it personally. My timeline is
confusing to me.
5. If I get dementia,
and can no longer use utensils, do not start feeding me. Instead, switch me to
a finger-food diet, and see if I can still feed myself.
6. If I get dementia,
and I am sad or anxious, hold my hand and listen. Do not tell me that my
feelings are unfounded.
7. If I get dementia,
I don’t want to be treated like a child. Talk to me like the adult that I am.
8. If I get dementia,
I still want to enjoy the things that I’ve always enjoyed. Help me find a way
to exercise, read, and visit with friends.
9. If I get dementia,
ask me to tell you a story from my past.
10. If I get
dementia, and I become agitated, take the time to figure out what is bothering
11. If I get
dementia, treat me the way that you would want to be treated.
12. If I get
dementia, make sure that there are plenty of snacks for me in the house. Even
now if I don’t eat I get angry, and if I have dementia, I may have trouble
explaining what I need.
13. If I get
dementia, don’t talk about me as if I’m not in the room.
14. If I get
dementia, don’t feel guilty if you cannot care for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week. It’s not your fault, and you’ve done your best. Find someone who can help
you, or choose a great new place for me to live.
15. If I get
dementia, and I live in a dementia care community, please visit me often.
16. If I get
dementia, don’t act frustrated if I mix up names, events, or places. Take a
deep breath. It’s not my fault.
17. If I get
dementia, make sure I always have my favorite music playing within earshot.
18. If I get
dementia, and I like to pick up items and carry them around, help me return
those items to their original place.
19. If I get
dementia, don’t exclude me from parties and family gatherings.
20. If I get
dementia, know that I still like receiving hugs or handshakes.
21. If I get
dementia, remember that I am still the person you know and love.