Creating a Safe Haven for Those Living with Dementia
Dementia is hard. There’s no doubting it, denying it, or sugar-coating it. For individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia, their family members, and their loved ones, living with the impacts of dementia is not easy. It can trigger complex feelings and emotions that are often hard to interpret—grief, guilt, sadness, loneliness, and even anger. The first step in understanding these feelings is to recognize that every feeling, every emotion, is valid and reasonable. It is okay to feel angry. It is okay to feel sad. And it’s especially okay to feel joy.
Bella Groves has created a new kind of memory care community in San Antonio, Texas. More than that and unlike any other dementia care organization, we develop learning and training resources to help people regardless of whether they live with us or not. If you are affected by dementia we can help. And while these tangible resources provide concrete support to families and caregivers, we are most proud of offering something that can never be measured—a family, a community, and a safe haven, right here in San Antonio, Texas.
How Dementia Impacts Individuals & Families
Take a look at these two statements:
- Living with or caring for someone with dementia is a lonely, isolating experience.
- There are over 50 million people worldwide living with dementia.
Do you see a disconnect?
With so many people living with dementia (almost half a million people in Texas alone have Alzheimer’s disease), why does it make families feel so alone? The answer for this comes in two parts.
1. Dementia makes individuals feel physically alone.
Whether you are living with dementia yourself or you care for someone who is, it can be an isolating feeling. Many individuals withdraw from society after a diagnosis, worried about how friends and coworkers might react. In addition, many caregivers have to surrender their previous lifestyle, sometimes including careers, hobbies, and relationships, to provide dedicated care and attention. This way of life can quickly become isolating, with individuals and families spending all their free time thinking or talking about dementia care.
2. Dementia makes you feel emotionally alone.
Seeing the statistics of how many people are living with dementia may have been surprising to you. However, even with that many people living with this disease, it is still stigmatized and relatively misunderstood. Most people don’t even think about dementia until it impacts them personally. This is understandable, but it makes for a rude awakening when it does impact them.
There is so much to know and take in, and you are expected to do so while dealing with the emotions that come with a diagnosis. These feelings can be overwhelming and challenging to manage and can often result in feeling emotionally isolated like you are the only person who knows what this feels like.
Creating Community and Connection
At Bella Groves, we want to be transparent and honest about dementia and its related care. We are not a big corporation telling you the benefits of our community; we are real people—friends, neighbors, those who have been personally impacted by dementia, those who stand behind you at the grocery store. We understand you. We want to help you continue your story.
We know what it feels like to wake up each morning and feel overwhelmed, confused, and sad because of dementia. And even though going through this makes you feel alone, we’re here to tell you that you are not alone.
One of our missions at Bella Groves is to combat these feelings of loneliness and isolation. We are creating a safe haven for those living with dementia that extends beyond the walls of our residential community. Through our dementia resources, we strive to be a trusted voice that educates individuals and families on dementia and memory loss while empowering them to not let this chapter of their life define them.
Bella Groves’ dementia resources also aim to educate healthcare professionals who care for those living with dementia to bridge the gap between patient care and dementia knowledge. Dementia care is a collaborative care experience, and it takes all of us to create joyful moments for those affected by dementia.
Local People Helping Local People
We support families as they continue to do the things they love in the city they love, even offering education and inspiration about creating dementia-friendly spaces throughout San Antonio. This means businesses offering dementia training to their employees to create welcoming and specialized programs, services, and accommodations that cater to people living with dementia.
You’ve spent your whole life being an active and connected member of your community; a dementia diagnosis should not change that.
Creating Unconditional Joy
Dementia is hard. There are moments of sadness, but there are also moments of joy. There are moments of confusion, but there are also moments of confidence. There are moments of loneliness, but there are also moments of genuine connection, community, and family.
At Bella Groves, we create moments of unconditional joy within the walls of our memory care community as well as our greater San Antonio community. To learn more about our mission and help us create unconditional joy, we invite you to visit our website.