How having a family member with dementia changes your family

Today in Ontario we're celebrating Family Day.  Family day is a time to reflect upon loving memories and what each family member brings to the family unit. Here in the Thompson household we have fond memories of our mother/grandmother, and an understanding of how a dementia diagnosis changes a family. Below are 4 perspectives from my family to yours.   
Rachel's family picture

Karen, granddaughter 

Karen cherishing her time spent with Marilyn
Our family has built a strong foundation as we have all helped to care for our grandmother as her dementia progressed. Many friends of mine have noticed how close I am with my whole family, and I take pride in having such a strong relationship with my loved ones. When a family member is experiencing hard times we all work together to comfort them as best we can. It's moments like this I cherish everyday, and I am so grateful for my family. 

Wendell, son

Wendell with his parents during a formal event
Having a mother with dementia is hard because the disease has taken my mother away mentally although she is still here physically. However, my mother always raised me that family is very important, and my beliefs about family have come from her. Now we try and make her life as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. 

Ray, husband

Raymond and Marilyn enjoying their time in their home
My family has become closer through my wife having dementia. My children help more and help my wife a lot. I know my wife loves her family and I'm sure she understands how much her family does for her. It is important that my family takes my wife out for special events too like birthdays and Mother's Day, because she is a special part of our family. To me family is about love and closeness, and we have a lot of love. 

Jo-Anne, daughter

Jo-Anne engaged and excited to talk to Marilyn
With my mom having dementia it has brought us closer as a family because we appreciate the little things. We can all share the moments when my mom does something familiar, like a little wink or smile that only my family would truly recognize. 
How did you incorporate your loved one with dementia into your family day? Tell us in the comments below!