A loving relationship can be an oasis in uncertain times, but nurturing it requires attention, honesty, openness, vulnerability, and gratitude.
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My parents both have dementia. There is nothing pleasant or rewarding about it. You're only adding to the guilt and isolation new caregivers will feel when their experience is anything but rewarding. Don't tell them that. The only fruitful thing that has come from this situation with our parents is my sisters and my discussion of exit strategy options for ourselves in the event this affliction strikes us. I wish that were an acceptable conversation a geriatrician could have with patients diagnosed with dementia. If I am ever diagnosed with this, I so hope there will be mainstream, socially acceptable, dignified, humane ways of euthanasia for people with this diagnosis, if they choose this path. If the ability to make such a choice is mainstream and allowed early in diagnosis, then we can make this dignified choice, sparing our children the anxiety, resentment, guilt, and despair we are currently going through. They will be free to struggle with their own lives, without our disease creating further stress and health problems for them.
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