Billie S. and her daughter are contributors to my upcoming book, Love Still Lives Here.
Billie S. lived a life of person and society centered love. She is highly educated and very intelligent. She is a leader and often said 'I have to serve other people.' This is how she lived her professional and personal life. This is how she lives today! Even with dementia and living in a memory care facility, Autumn Leaves of Austin, Northwest, she is a leader and very much a 'people person.' She continues to serve other people, and you can see her face brighten up whenever she is given the opportunity to serve others.
I observed her greeting other residents, showing them the way to their rooms and definitely working the room as if she was at a networking meeting. I recognized that she was more at ease with this role than most professionals, so I had to smile with sincere admiration.
Billie is a:
- Loving Mother
- Loving Wife
- Childhood Cancer Survivor
- Social Activist
- Social Worker
- Victim of Dementia
Just You and Me
Long before her dementia diagnosis, Billie instilled a sense of loyalty in her children through her actions and behaviors. Her core family was always a priority for her even while she was busy excelling at her profession and serving her community. Her daughter visits daily and wouldn't consider it any other way. She is in close contact with the staff of the memory care facility that cares for people with dementia. She constantly wonders what is best for her mother and strives to do right by her. Her daughter sees that she is content so long as she can be Billie- giving, serving and loving. The facility staff at Autumn Leaves of Austin, Northwest recognize this and provide her with various administrative tasks. It is not unusual to find Billie leading a 'board meeting' of her own. While avoiding facility placement would be preferable, Billie loves being around others and the setting has helped her to flourish. I'll tell you more about Billie's remarkable rally from hospice care, as I have devoted a chapter in my upcoming book, Love Still Lives Here. Yes that's a teaser!
I am so thrilled to tell you more about this wonderful woman Billie S. You know this blog post is just a super short version, right? Her daughter shared beautiful stories about Billie before she had dementia, once she was diagnosed and now that she is in a memory care facility. The love is so evident in the images, but you know I can't show those until the book is out! Love Still Lives Here will be published by November, 2016. At it's core, Love Still Lives Here is a book about the love in families and people with dementia. After years of being in reverence of families caring for loved ones with dementia, I realized these stories of LOVE and DEVOTION need to be shared with the world. These are the stories so rarely heard. Love Still Lives Here is about the many expressions of love and will certainly entertain, inspire and open your heart.
Elder Remembrance Photography
In my 37+ year nursing career, I often cared for elders who had no recent photos. It wasn't unusual to see people in their 80s whose most recent photos were from their 40s and 50s. When did our later years become a time not worthy of being memorialized? Sure, elders aren't smoothed skinned anymore, but there is still that light, that smile, that expression that is so uniquely them. Elder remembrance photography is about honoring our later years, and recognizing the beauty that is still there. It's about seeing the love that families have for one another-even within the mundane everyday stuff. It's my mission to bring Elder Remembrance Photography to life! Watch for E-Books with simple tips about how to take great photos. Add some stories about your loved one and you've got magic!