Thi and Phuong Nam Doan are two sisters born in Portland, Oregon. In 2020, their mom was diagnosed with lewy body dementia, a type of progressive dementia that leads to a decline in thinking, reasoning and independent function. The family has been navigating how to take care of a woman who used to take care of them. Their cousin, Andy Nguyen remembers how his aunt has always been like a second mother to him. The three grew up as a very close unit and they share how much the mom is the foundation in their lives. She is the matriarch of their family, the eldest who always cared for her younger siblings, the driving force behind the parents' escape from Vietnam and the caregiver to many. The recent news of the diagnosis has been hard for the family, and also the mom who has a hard time accepting it, feeling guilt and shame for putting a burden on her family. The three cousins share how they are navigating ambiguous loss/grief, a term that describes the grief one may feel for a loved one who has dementia.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with dementia, here are some resources shared by Thi Doan.
https://www.asianmhc.org/ has a directory of Asian American therapists
Family Caregiver Handout in Vietnamese
Fact Sheet on Dementia in Vietnamese
Information on Dementia in Vietnamese
For Lewy Body Dementia
For Alzheimer's Dementia
A podcast by Bambu care called "What the Dementia"
Episode Cover Art: https://www.thidoanart.com
4thWorldPress: The Day I Woke Up Different
Executive Producer: Tracey Nguyen Mang
Associate Producer: Tricia Vuong
VBP theme music: Clarity, Paulina Vo
Other music: Heat Dream: Patrick Latham, Marigold Spring: Daniel Kaede, Recovering Hope: Spirits of Our Dreams, First Time for Everything: Trevor Kowalski