Someone To Talk To
By: Michelle Remold
Everyone needs someone who they can talk to about things going on in their life. We all need someone that we can talk to, bounce ideas off of, and who understands what they are experiencing. To me, that is what makes support groups so great. Support groups can give a level of understanding that someone might not be able get from their friends or even family, especially when dealing with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
My friends are great sounding boards for whatever I may have going on, good or bad. We talk about everything and I truly value their input. However, there are of course different experiences that we can’t exactly relate to and in my case, my experience with Alzheimer’s is one of the things that I don’t have in common with most of my friends, though they always listen to what I am saying. I’m lucky though in that my family understands my thoughts on the disease.
I am also able to see the benefits to having being a part of a support group. When my grandpa had Alzheimer’s I couldn’t understand why I was seemingly the only person in my grade going through the experience. It was hard to explain why my grandpa couldn’t go to grandparent’s day at school. Now that my grandma has dementia, I am seeing it a little differently. I now have a better understanding of the disease and am able to talk about things with my family.
I am able to see the benefits of having someone to talk to who is truly able to empathize with you and understands your situation. It is important to talk about things that make you smile and things that might be weighing on you. I encourage everyone to find someone whom they can talk to about the joys and struggles of dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.