When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, all or nothing seems unlikely. The diagnosis comes with many “what ifs?” and “I don’t knows”, and an ever present side dish of “some of this and some of that.”
Did you know that there is a day set aside in the month of July that is declared “All or Nothing Day”? Yes, it’s true. The concept is that All or Nothing Day is that one perfect day in the year in which you set out to do something you really wish to do, but would never dare to try. Or at least you never have, yet.
Whether faced with a diagnosis of dementia for yourself or someone special to you, thinking about one perfect day may be a faint dream of the past. How can anyone thrown into the devastation of dementia dare to dream the wish of a perfect day? How can it be all or nothing?
Alzheimer’s disease is about living in the moment. The rules of the game change constantly. There is no all or nothing. It is a blend of good and bad, of moments that hold unbelievable challenge and moments of pure joy. It’s what we can make of it.
As care partners is it imperative that we don’t let the difficult moments define the day. It is never ALL or NOTHING! There is always constant motion, growth, change. We learn to adapt and roll with the punches, sometimes literally, and in order to survive, we go with the flow. Always trying to make the best with what we have and what we know. While at times, we do not have the energy or patience to do so.
Where does this leave us on ‘All or Nothing Day’? We live in the word, “YET”. Perhaps it is something you haven’t dreamed possible, yet. Maybe it is a technique you haven’t had the energy or strength to try, yet. Possibly, the answer is in the approach or adaptation you haven’t dared, yet.
The truth is, among all the change, we won’t know what works until we are willing to try it. What used to work may not always work. What didn’t work previously, may now work. The great news is, it isn’t all or nothing! Be creative, collect ideas, store them in your tool belt and use them and adapt them. Maybe the success is in the way you say it, the time of day, or the color shirt you are wearing! You hold the power, and that is never all or nothing, that is something!