Anyone who has cared for a family member with dementia can tell you how challenging and emotionally draining it is. My family has been taking care of my grandparents for a few months now and it has been a transformative experience. It is an understatement to say that our situation is revelatory of hidden emotions and personal weaknesses.
Many times my grandparents cannot recall names of family members and even events that occurred just a few minutes ago. This leads to a cycle of repeated questions and repeated answers. Dementia is a condition that does not just affect a person’s memory; it alters a lot of the person’s typical behavior and cognitive functions. My grandparents exhibit unusual behaviors and make comments that can be hurtful, but not necessarily intentional. Still, it is very difficult to discern what is true and what is false or what is part of their condition and what is part of their true selves.