Alzheimer's Disease,  Caregiver Tools,  dementia,  Personal Stories

Love and Alzheimer’s on Valentine’s Day

It’s hard to escape the paper hearts littering store fronts and gift shops this month. Valentine’s Day approaches. It’s love month. I think this time of year is an opportunity to recognise not only romantic love, but all versions. While I am certain of the love that drives my actions, I felt at a loss to define the love as I experience it with my mother who is living with Young Onset Alzheimer’s. It’s so simple to me but also so complex. I was having trouble putting this into words so I want to share what someone close to me said when I expressed to him my inability to express…

love jar love over alzheimer's
Illustration by Steven Twigg


There are many, many songs, articles, studies, artworks – that all ask the question, “what is love?” There is no clear answer, but many would consider true love to be something that never fades; a timeless feeling that may evolve and change but is always a part of who you are. This permanence, even in its immediately visible absence, is something that can’t be taken away, not even by a disease. –Steven Twigg

These sentiments are so evident when true love is put to the test, when acts of love can’t necessarily be reciprocated or acknowledged. It is in these times that you learn what your version of unconditional love is. In my case, when your relationship with the one who showed you love is put to the test, things start making sense is a weird way. I understand what love really is, the weight and complexities that the word carries. My mom is my great love, the love of my life, my true love. I love her with all that I know how to give. I learned to love from her, and that’s a circle with ripple effects I hope to share. I’m so grateful for what her demonstrations of love taught me as I feel I now have everything I need in order to be able to create this deep bond with others throughout my life, as well as give back to her.

Happy Valentines Day <3

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