I found that when I was older, I had a hard time accepting the fact that I was a patient, that I wasn’t my own person.
But now I’m getting over that.
I have found that nursing homes are my family.
I don’t have to be on my own to be a part of a community.
That’s how it should be.
If you have dementia, you’re going to be the first person on your block who’s going to know you.
If your parents are dying, you’ll know them too.
I think it’s the same with people with disabilities, who have different needs.
So, you’ve got to be open to being a part, and you’ve gotta be open and respectful of your neighbours.
When you’re sick, you have to get help, and it’s important to get that help.
You can’t wait for someone to call and ask for it.
The way we’re treating the elderly with dementia is very different to the way we treat people with diabetes.
When I had my first stroke, I was very stressed and very anxious.
I didn’t want to go home.
I would have been in a lot of pain.
My mother and my sister were on my mind every time I saw them, and I had no time to take care of myself.
So I had to make myself do things that weren’t comfortable, that were upsetting to me.
And that made me very sad.
But I’m not going to wait for somebody to call me and say, “Hey, what’s wrong?”
I’m going to make a conscious decision to seek help and help now.
When someone is sick, they’re going through a very difficult time, and there’s no way you’re ever going to understand that they’re not going through the same things that you are.
But you can’t get too far away from that.
The biggest thing that I’ve learned about caring for a loved one with dementia over the past three years is that it’s a wonderful time to be in a nursing home.
The first day I was there, I saw that I had the capacity to take my medication and take care and support my family, to be myself and to take on some of the burdens of my caregiving.
It’s not easy to leave that and start over.
I really appreciate how people are able to get the care that they need in nursing homes.
They’ve got someone who’s there for them, who can talk to them and see their needs, who’s willing to listen, who knows what they’re talking about, who doesn’t judge them or have negative thoughts.
So the nurses who care for you are the best in the world.
The worst part is that when you’re in there, you don’t know who they are, and they’re just going to treat you as they would anyone else.
They’re not thinking about you.
So they’re very respectful of you.
They respect you, but they don’t judge you.
And then you’ve also got people who are like, “You have a great family,” and they’ll ask you, “Who are your family members?”
It’s a really nice atmosphere there.
I had some very good experiences there, and that was really helpful.
But there are a lot more people who come in and they go in, they just can’t take care.
It makes it very hard to get through the day, and a lot times, people have no clue who they’re treating.
There’s not a lot that you can do about that, so you have that to deal with.
In my nursing home, I’ve been able to find people who really care, who care enough to have a relationship with the nursing staff and the residents.
And they do.
I’m grateful to them for that.
The other thing that has changed in the nursing home is that people are taking care of their families in the way that I remember, and if they’re sick they’re taking care.
They just get to do it as they see fit, because that’s how I remember it.
It really helps.
In many ways, I’m so grateful that I have a community, that people feel the same way.
They feel that they can say, ‘This is what I want to do,’ and they can take care, because it’s just not normal to be sick and not be able to do that.
If I was dying, I’d be at home.
If somebody had cancer, I could be home with them.
If they had diabetes, I would be in the room with them, taking care, and then I’d go home to my family and tell them, “OK, I know what you want to hear.”
That’s what I do.
And I really feel like that’s what they should do.
They should take care if they feel like it, but I feel like the nursing homes I’ve seen do a much better job of that.
That goes back to being able to feel like you