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The Heartwarming Reason a 31-Year-Old Bride Planned Her Wedding in a Nursing Home

The Heartwarming Reason a 31-Year-Old Bride Planned Her Wedding in a Nursing Home

At 31 years old, Miriam Reeves just might be the youngest person ever to get married in a nursing home. She and her fiancé, Mark Davis, had every intention of tying the knot in their local church, until Alzheimer’s disease disrupted their plans.

Miriam’s father, Bernard, has been living with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis since 2006. A former Vietnam veteran and police chaplain, Bernard’s condition eventually reached the point where he could no longer take care of himself, so his family moved him to the Foundation Park Alzheimer’s Care Center in Toledo, Ohio.

While planning for her special day, Miriam was consumed with the fear that Bernard would wander off and become lost if he was taken away from the center for the wedding ceremony. So she and Mark made a decision: if Bernard couldn’t come to the church, then they would bring their nuptials to him.

“My dad has been my hero my entire life and I know that if he was well, he would be at my wedding front and center,” Miriam told the Toldeo Blade. “And I thought, ‘Why not move it there and it would be more of a special event.’”

Why people with dementia do better in familiar environments

Miriam’s selfless decision to accommodate her father’s condition aligns with one of the foundational principles of caring for a person with dementia: entering their world.

“You have to learn to live in our world because we can’t live in yours; it doesn’t exist for us anymore,” says Harry Urban, who’s been living with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, for nearly a decade.

Navigating the ever-shifting nature of a dementia patient’s reality can be a daunting task for family members and professional caregivers alike, which is why Urban implores people to learn as much as they can about the condition. “Don’t just pick up a book and learn about the stages. Discover the unique things about their disease, learn why your loved one does the things he or she does. If you don’t, then you’re both just going to get frustrated and angry.” He urges families to remember that their loved ones may still be aware of what’s going on around them, even if they can’t communicate their understanding, and argues the importance of treating them accordingly.

Here again, Miriam sets a sterling example, “He knows who we are…I feel like a part of him will know what’s going on.” And so he did—on August 16th, 2014, Bernard Reeves walked his daughter down the aisle, his face illuminated by a radiant smile.

The article Bride Marries in Nursing Home So Dad With Alzheimers Can Attend was originally published on AgingCare.com.

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Read more: Aging, Alzheimer's, Family, Health, Inspiration, Life, Love, Relationships, , , , ,

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AgingCare.com

AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

89 comments

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1:04AM PDT on Sep 27, 2014

Thank you!

3:42AM PDT on Sep 9, 2014

Thank you

10:04PM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

That is just so thoughtful and loving!

6:57AM PDT on Sep 3, 2014

Thanks!

4:48PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

touching

6:36AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

thanks for the nice story

1:18AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Wonderful couple!

9:50AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

wonderful.

9:08AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

This is such a beautiful story:) Such a beautiful bride inside inside and out

8:16AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

So sweet! Thanks for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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