Many professional caregivers have deeply rooted memories that inspired them to pursue a career in a field — such as assisted living. My first experience with dementia, caregiving and compassion involved my own grandparents, my Lolo and Lola.
At age 11, I witnessed how lovingly my grandfather cared for and protected my grandmother, who was forgetting things. When someone made an unkind remark toward my Lola regarding her dementia, my Lolo responded very admirably. With few words, he simply excused us from the room.
“Why are some people so mean?” I asked my Lolo. He said that when I run across people in the world who aren’t nice, I should forgive them and be nice to them anyway.
“Be kind to unkind people. They need it the most. It’s the right thing to do.”
Although it was a difficult concept for me to grasp at the time, today, these simple, timeless sentiments serve as my touchstone as I navigate the daily challenges of caregiving.
Show kindness in the face of adversity. Show compassion and understanding without judgement. “It’s the right thing to do.”
“Not throwing stones is the first step in treating others with compassion. The second step is to try to catch the stones thrown by others.”
— Dale G. Renlund