"Purpose Path," a guided document to identify joys and purpose for your loved one (and yourself)
I created this document as a guided tool to help you identify likes and joys for your loved one living with dementia. It's called a "Purpose Path" for 2 reasons:
1) It's a tool to incorporate your loved one's individual joys and likes into everyday in order to recognize and emphasize their own purpose and agency - whether you're assisting them with a task or ADL (activities of daily living); or building a helpful, balanced routine; or whether you're looking for a way to spend some meaningful time together.
2) The carepartner journey is a path you're on together. Like so many paths, there are twists and turns, ups and downs. Focusing on your loved one's purpose and agency will benefit you both throughout this journey.
Annnd, you can also use this "Purpose Path" as a way to identify good self-care practices for yourself. Do you only have 15 minutes, or maybe only a few seconds? Your own Purpose Path will help you identify what feeds your soul.
You'll see the admonishment to "Go Slow to Go Fast." I developed this as a way to look at day-to-day caregiving: if you take time to connect, recognize your loved one's purpose, incorporate their joys and fill your own cup, your days together will be better. You may be tempted to simply complete a task like assisting your loved one to eat lunch, but if you Go Slow - connect, recognize purpose, incorporate joy, fill your cup - your overall journey together will be smoother. Including fewer dementia "behaviors."
Senior living professionals, do feel free to share with families with whom you're working.