Living Well with Dementia
A love story 48 years in the making
“We know there are challenges ahead, but they are longer at the forefront taking away our energy.”
Forty eight years ago, Carol and Janet fell in love and began to share their lives together. They built successful careers – Carol as an electrician and Janet as a mental health counselor in private practice. They built a house together, much of it with their own two hands- especially Carols. They fought for marriage equality. They have even traveled the country (in a camper van they affectionately call Bertha) from Connecticut to Alaska. Their life together is truly a love story and for the last 7 years, they have been navigating life with Carol’s Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.
Carol began showing signs of forgetfulness & mood changes-even in her career she had done for many years. Janet knew something was different and wanted answers for her wife. After many trips to specialists and doctors further testing showed that Carol’s cognitive impairment was due to Alzheimer’s Disease. This left Carol and Janet relieved with an answer, but unsure of what was ahead. Hand-in-hand, filled with determination, unconditional love, and perseverance, the two set out to find a way forward.
Janet was determined to bring light to what was feeling like a dark cloud. And that light was found at LiveWell.
“I went looking for support and that’s when the universe provided us with LiveWell.
Carol and I got involved with LiveWell after a friend introduced us to Bob Savage who was a resident at LiveWell and defined himself as a person living well with dementia.
That got my attention. When I got home, and checked out LiveWell’s website, I noticed something called a memory café where people with dementia and their care partners were invited to LiveWell for a social gathering.
So we went. LiveWell provided dinner and a fun activity but basically provided a space to socialize with people who were on a similar journey to ours. Both of us felt energized that night and looked forward to going again. We have met so many wonderful people through this cafe group and now consider them to be our friends.
We also started taking classes and helping to develop classes, in addition to attending support groups at LiveWell. Very simply, LiveWell has changed our lives in many positive ways as we go about the business of learning to live well with dementia.”
“I think having found other people on this journey has helped me to see that I’m not alone, we’re all still enjoying life and that helps me to enjoy mine. When socializing or taking classes with people at LiveWell, I can be who I am now, not who I used to be. I feel valued and appreciated by the staff and by the other members of the community.”
Through LiveWell Janet and Carol joined the Empowering Partnership Network & are now on the board of directors. The Mission of EPN is to create a diverse peer network of partners that are leading a movement to promote cognitive health and transform the experience of living with dementia.
𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐥 & 𝐉𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐞 you to become partners in this network. Whether you are someone living with cognitive change, a care partner, a professional in the field, or someone who just wants to make a difference- all are welcome!
The goals of this membership are to create meaningful engagement opportunities, peer to peer support programs, to improve the diagnostic and post diagnostic experience, to reduce stigma and to provide community education and awareness.
Here’s to that forever connection, finding your people, & communities that hold space for dementia positive mindsets.