A man named John is the loving husband and care partner for his wife Mary, who has Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, Mary started with aphasia early in her illness making it hard for her to initiate conversation verbally although she retains the ability to read aloud. John enrolled himself and Mary in separate support groups and was told by the leader of Mary’s group that she was unable to share much, which limited the support she got from other group members. The support group leader and John came up with a clever technique where John would write up a summary of their recent activities from Mary’s perspective. Mary read the summary in the group when it was her turn to share. The technique literally gave Mary back her voice and increased the connections she was able to make with other members of the group.
This is an important story in showcasing choices care partners can make once they know about community resources to look for, they understand the potential benefit, and they can get creative when a pivot is needed.