Island Treasures: Four Hugs a Day

Alison van Schie

Island Treasures: Four Hugs a Day

Alison van Schie


Anne Sands takes us along on an emotional roller coaster on this episode of Island Treasures. Her husband Stu has been diagnosed with dementia. Throughout her caregiving journey, Anne has learned a lot and wants to help others by advocating that they get their loved one into the medical system as soon as possible so they are eligible for supports, respite and day programs, and placement in residential care. Stu was on the list for placement and, when one of their two selected places had a bed available, she made the difficult decision to accept it. Her preference is to have Stu transferred closer to where she lives when a room comes available. 

When Stu first went into care, during the Covid-19 pandemic, he had to be isolated for the first two weeks. Since that time, Anne hasn’t been able to see his room and visits are limited to once a week for 45 minutes. Communication with the care home's psychiatrist has been very informative, validating, and reassuring. The time that she can now spend with her husband is drastically reduced compared to the time they spent together as husband and wife prior to Stu's placement. This has not been the only change, and Anne talks candidly about a new reality that has developed in their relationship. Her approach to the shocking news she received from the residential care home is positive, exhibiting loving care and concern for her husband’s needs and well-being. For herself, the days are long and she is looking forward to golfing season. She has many supports yet she experiences significant deficits. Anne stresses that caregiving is draining, aging, exhausting, and emotional. On top of it all, she feels hug deprived. She introduces the refreshing song and concept of “Four Hugs a Day," by Charlotte Diamond (permission obtained to use the title/see credits below). Anne ponders what’s next for her and shares her caregiver tips whilst reminding all of us not to lose sight of our own lives.

Four Hugs a Day By Charlotte Diamond and Earl Robinson Copyright: Charlotte Diamond Music 1985 SOCAN As recorded on "10 Carrot Diamond" www.charlottediamond.com

About Island Treasures

As caregivers tell their stories they will share encouragement and insights to the listeners who may be in the midst of their own caregiving journey. It is a source of wisdom and empowerment so caregivers do not feel they are alone.

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