I wish I knew then what I know now

“I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Have you ever heard anyone say that? Or perhaps you have said it yourself. I have said that a lot these past two years since I became involved in our dementia ministry.

From 1996 until my retirement in 2012, I worked as a Registered Nurse in assisted living, most of that time was spent doing a lot of training of those who worked in assisted living communities. Every assisted living community has many people living with dementia whether or not the community is a special memory care community. “I wish I knew then what I know now.” How much better my training could have been and how much better care we could have given . . .

Since I became involved in our dementia ministry I have learned so much about Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. Much of that learning has come through the teaching of Teepa Snow, internationally known dementia educator. Teepa teaches an approach to understanding dementia and caring for persons living with dementia that is so practical. It can make a world of difference in the life of the person living with dementia and those who care for them. Caring for my father and Jim’s mother would have been so much better for them and for us. “I wish I knew then what I know now.”

The good news is that TEEPA SNOW IS COMING TO FORT WORTH, TO FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH! We are so excited to host her and provide this opportunity for people to learn about dementia — what’s happening to the brain and how can understanding that help us as we relate to persons living with dementia? If you don’t have a loved one or friend living with dementia now, you will. The numbers are staggering as we look to the future of the aging baby boomers. This is something we all need to learn — NOW.

Friday, September 7, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at 800 W. 5th St. in downtown Fort Worth. Mark your calendar NOW. Make arrangements NOW to attend. Go to the website and register NOW. The cost is $10 to provide lunch before August 10, and $20 until registration closes at midnight on August 29.

If you need assistance to register or have questions, call Gail Snider in the Dementia Friendly Fort Worth office: 817-332-6266.

“We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better.” 
— Maya Angelou

Come, learn, know better so you can do better. Perhaps you will not have to look back one day and say, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Linda Abel, RN
President of Dementia Friendly Fort Worth

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