I Learned one of the Most Valuable Life Lessons from Individuals Who Could No Longer Remember it Themselves: How Working with Dementia Changed My Mindset

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At birth, we are all born with open minds and an expanded conscious. We are open to all of our senses and free to experience the world as we choose.

How does this change? 

Social norms, rule based structure, and fear change things. I had no idea that maturity is simply “unlearning” everything that you have learned to just become “free” again. Maturity is the process of unlearning predetermined judgements and fear.

help concept, special toned photo f/x, focus point selective

What inspired this?

I have been working as a cognitive and dysphagia therapist for patients with dementia for 5+ years now. This wasn’t easy at first. Honestly, I used to become emotionally affected by it witnessing what we are all to become one day. Once I started mediation, the truth finally started to become clear to me.

Growing old isnt as “scary” as I thought. It is just a process of opening your mind and your consciousness. Yes, this will create delusions, but it can be a place of bliss if we CHOOSE to make it that way.

An open mind is a place of love without judgment. 

My heart goes out to the families that have to grieve the loss of the personality and cognitive functions of their loved ones.

I see that some patients are “pleasantly confused” and some patients are “tortured souls.” WHY?

I have a theory that this difference weights heavily upon the amount of repressed emotion that adults carry with them to their “senior life.”

Repressed emotions are the emotions that we shove deep down into our subconscious  so that they do not affect us in the present. Those emotions do not just disappear, they fester in our minds and formulate as plaques or blocks. This destroys the potential for human consciousness.

Every wonder how you will present as you “lose your mind?”

I always joke that I am going to be the woman streaking down the hall looking for my next adventure. You will see me reading tarot cards to my roommates telling stories of my travels and the unbelievable stories about my love life. I will also be feeding everyone in sight. 

Whats the point of this blog?

To encourage folks to let those negative emotions out.

Express them any way possible, your happiness depends on it.

Consciousness is a gift and it can be taken for granted. 

Be grateful for your mind.

Give thanks.

CONTRIBUTED BY JESSICA BALISKI, M.S. CCC-SLP, SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST

Jessica Baliski is a Senior Speech Language Pathologist with over a decade of clinical experience in areas of both language disorders and dysphagia therapy. Jessica has dedicated her life to service to help those who struggle with mental health. Her inspiration comes solely from the love of her family. She is also an adjunct professor at Stockton University where she teaches a course “Language Disorders Across the Lifespan.”

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