Care Partners, Family & Friends

"I have known and worked with Mark and Brenda and many of the other Dementia Minds in your article for several years. They and their example are making a great positive difference in the quality of life for thousands of persons living with dementia, and for their carers and friends. That includes helping me more clearly celebrate every moment I spend with my wife, although, in her 14th year of the journey, she has lost most of her words, the ability to walk and hold a fork. Yet she has not lost her smile, the ability to laugh, nor the capacity to say “I love you”—albeit not always with spoken words. And through the beautiful example set by the Dementia Minds, I appreciate that my wife will never stop being what each of the Dementia Minds folks also are---unique, wonderful persons, deserving of more admiration than sympathy, more love than griping, more respect than regret. Mark and Arnie and company helped inspire me to work to get my small town in Michigan recognized as a Dementia Friendly Community, and many people have a better quality of life because of the Dementia Minds."

Jim

Husband and Care Partner

"The members of the National Council of Dementia Minds made my life harder – for all the right reasons and because it needed to be. Frankly, it would be easier for me to think of my mom as lost, as not the person I knew. It would be easier to give up on a relationship with her. But after meeting the Dementia Minds members, listening to their stories, and asking them questions, I cannot. They showed me what is possible for a person living with dementia and what is required of me to love and support that person.

I wish I could say all this knowledge and understanding made life a breeze. It did not. But thanks to Dementia Minds, I know my mom’s dementia affects the way she perceives the world: her anchor in time, her sight, her sense of smell and taste. She is not “lying about things.” She is not “being difficult.” Dementia Minds gave me one of the greatest gifts imaginable – the understanding and tools to be a better daughter. I fail as often as I succeed, but that is how I will get better at supporting my mom on this journey."

Leslie

Daughter and Care Partner

"To Whom This “Should” Concern,

I am writing this today to share a bit about my husband, Paul,  and my journey over the past 4 years.  While it doesn’t seem like a long time when you compare it to the 42 years, we’ve been married it seems like an eternity when you are faced with a devastating diagnosis such as early-onset Alzheimer’s.  Life changes completely and dramatically on a daily basis.  The only thing we are able to do is to pray, educate ourselves, and try to navigate our way forward.    We have been extremely blessed in finding a few supportive agencies and talking with others that have experience with the disease, however, the group of now called National Dementia Minds was the “Brain” child of a few core people like Brenda & Mark Roberts who clearly saw the need for a supportive group particularly for those living with the disease.  As a care partner, I have taken countless seminars, trainings, etc. to be able to meet the needs of my spouse but it is he who needs the support, comradely, of others who have similar difficulties he’s facing.  This group has been our lifeline to giving him a sense of identity and belonging.  There are not many tasks he can do as he once did but he finds purpose and energy when the group meets.  There is always laughing which is so important as mostly he’s in a depressed state and it’s hard for me to get him out of it.  Only a sense of self-worth and love from his “brothers in arms” seems to work.  There are also women who share and various age groups, but he looks at this as his work buddies and he’s always loved to work!   Thank you and God Bless all who have made this possible and continue the work to bring hope for another day. "

Debra

Wife and Care Partner

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