It all started with a tweet. I'm not someone who tweets often, or ever really. But there I was, composing my 140 characters.
What a game changer.
For 13 years, I didn't ever meet or know anyone else who had a parent with dementia. But I knew I wasn't alone. And I was clueless as to how to find these people.
My dad's dementia sure wasn't something I talked about publicly and we all know that the Big A (Alzheimer's) isn't something that crops up in conversation, just after "how's the weather?" and before "how's the family?"
Don't ask me what compelled me to put something so private in a domain so public.
Those 140 characters have opened doors for me and made connections I didn't dream possible.
Thanks to the #dementia hashtag, it came across a couple profiles of people who are active in the dementia community and/or have a parent with dementia. Just what I was hoping.
Within a week, I'd connected with, over the phone, over 5 people who had a parent with dementia. Strangers with whom I felt an immediate connection because they can say "I get it."
Three words whose power I never felt before.
If you feel like you're alone dealing with issue of early onset of dementia with a loved one, find your tribe.
There's places to connect on my Resources page.
Google Blondes vs Brunettes football, check out the local chapter of your Alzheimer's Association (or other related dementias), join a google hangout organized by the Alz Association for young caregivers, email me or send off a tweet as I did.
Find the people who can say to you "I get it."