Mother Teresa once said, "if you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one".
When seeing this quote, most of us probably think about feeding people or animals with food to provide nutrition to them. I know that is what I usually think of. For a moment, let's think about a broader meaning of the word feed.
I hear many persons with dementia (PWD) and care partners say, "I want to help someone else with dementia" or "I want to help another family that is caring for someone with dementia". Sometimes, the next thing I hear is that, "I don't know how to do this" or "I am not able to do anything". Personally, I know that if I help someone, I will always feel good about it. Helping someone without the desire for personal compensation brings much joy to me. Let's look at a few different meanings of the word "feed".
(1) "To provide for consumption, utilization, or operation". Let's think about utilization. Most of us who are living with dementia or taking care of someone with dementia have learned something about the symptoms of dementia and at least a little bit about the disease itself. I believe that care partners and PWD, especially in the early and mid-stages of dementia can provide personal insights that will enable a newly diagnosed PWD to "utilize" that information and have huge impact on their journey.
(2) "To minister to; gratify'. There are so many ways to "gratify" someone. Just a few of these might be to; send a card, wish them a happy birthday or anniversary, take them some food or buy them some, small gift. Once again, we have chosen to "feed someone"
(3) "The transmission or conveyance of published content". With computer technology today, this is very powerful. Those individuals who are computer savvy, can go to the internet and find reputable sites with information about dementia. It is important for it to be reputable site. When we do this, we can "feed" others with information about dementia.
These are just three meanings of "feed". When we use anyone of these, all of these or some other means of "feeding" someone with dementia, we can "feed", one person or one-hundred or more. We all have something that we can do to help others. One of my mantras is, "help just one person today".
©2015 Robert Bowles
Robert Bowles, Jr.