Becoming a nurse in a memory care unit during a pandemic was challenging, to say the least. I had many years experience in the medical field, but not specifically dealing with people effected by Alzheimer's on a day to day basis. I watched as "my Residents" lost their ability to have visits from their families. And then they lost the ability to interact with each other as well, all for their own protection from the COVID-19 virus. Next, I watched as the protective isolation caused them to suffer from loneliness, decreased appetites and eventually resulted in declining health. I never took it lightly that I was one of a select few that was allowed to pass through the doors and interact with them. We bonded quickly. I fell in love with them, if you will, and they with me. We became a family of sorts. I provided them as much love and light and care as I possibly could, knowing that I was doing it for everyone who loved them. We battled against the virus and the loneliness together. And now that we are coming out on the other side, still together, I remain thankful that I was here for them during such a strange time. I count it a strange sort of privilege to have been able to portray love and safety to them in such a scary time.
I am grateful every day for the beautiful souls I am entrusted to care for. I am told I am loved multiple times a shift. I hold hands, blow kisses, hear kind words and receive loving nicknames. I tell jokes and wipe tears (sometimes theirs, and sometimes my own too). Often, while I am checking on them, they are asking if I have eaten or have a sweater, even offering me their own. I have been touched so deeply by my time working for my Residents who experience Alzheimer's. I must admit that
I never planned to work in this specialty. But I do believe that you land where you belong and I definitely feel a sense of belonging here with these people. Alzheimer's takes away so much, not just from the person who has it but from everyone who loves them. There are bits and pieces of love and joy, however, that shine though from time to time. And I am thankful to be able to participate in those moments.
Alzheimer’s isn’t stopping and neither are we. By participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, I’m raising funds and awareness to advance the fight against this disease — funds that allow the Alzheimer’s Association® to provide 24/7 care and support while accelerating critical research.
Families facing Alzheimer’s and all other dementia need us now more than ever — and with your help, we can be there for them. Please make a donation or register as a participant and start your own fundraising. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease.
Thank you for any support you can provide! We would love your donation and would love for you to join our team as well! Come out and show your support!
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised