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Bella and Gilles love story is a long one and continues today despite the changes caused by the Alzheimer disease. They were married September 4, 1972. They are parents to two amazing girls and three beautiful grandchildren. They built a company in which they worked their whole life. The y approach life as a team, at work, at home, for their children, their outings, and the disease. The disease has changed a lot of things, but the heart remains the same; the memory of the heart never forgets. Emotions remain inside of us. In March 2016, Bella was hit by a car while crossing the street.  She spent four days in the hospital with a concussion. After recovery, Bella saw her family doctor. After a short discussion and various tests, she was referred to a memory specialist. In September 2016, Bella was diagnosed with dementia. She was 68. There were tears of course, and worries. Even though they suspected something wasn’t right with Bella, the confirmation was a shock. Emotions ran high, but for Gilles, it didn’t feel like a catastrophe. This strength comes from his work as a volunteer helping people with cancer. The desire to help and empathy are part of who he is. Still, Bella had to quit working at the company they built together. A period of depression followed; the image she had of herself was changing. Having always managed the administrative side of the business, she saw herself incapable to do tasks that were once so easy for her. After reading an article in the newspaper, and learning about the help available, Bella and Gilles, went to their local Alzheimer Society office for the first time. They received a very warm welcome. A facilitator clearly explained the services offered by the Society. While they quickly realized they could use the help being offered, Bella was a bit reluctant at first. It was difficult for her to find her place, but with the activities, a better quality of life, where the person with dementia and her caregiver are together, she eventually got more comfortable. Now Bella is always very happy to take part activities and socializing with Les joyeux troubadours.  People she knew reacted to her diagnosis with sadness, but they were also respectful and showed they care. At the same time, some didn’t know what to say. It was surprising for them to see a successful and highly organized person lose all of that. Their daughters help with the family business which they now run. Their support is essential to Gilles. The attitude of the general public towards people with dementia seems to be improving, but there is still a lot of information needed to help them understand and accept people with dementia. We have to talk about the disease. The Alzheimer Society helps educate as well as offering various programs to people living with dementia and their caregivers. It is always possible to have a happy life despite the disease. It is useless to focus on what the person cannot do any more. One only has to change their habits and concentrate on what the person is still able to do rather than on cognitive issues. Enjoy each day; happiness is sometimes hidden in little moments. For example, Bella found a new passion for Mandala which is a geometric configuration of circles and enjoy hours colouring these virtually unlimited circles. And sometimes, when she listens to older tunes, her smile is worth a thousand words.

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