As dementia progresses in a person, they are more likely to become withdrawn, isolated or bored. A simple conversation becomes difficult for them and they are forced to retreat into their own thoughts.
91-year-old, Gene McGehee was pleasantly surprised when he stepped outside his house in Vidalia, Louisiana, he met kids from the daycare across the street who wanted to hang out with him.
The daycare teacher, Megan Nunez, met with him and he asked her for her name. “Every day I cross the street and we meet again,” Megan said. It’s been 3 years since Gene has been meeting Megan but he thinks it to be the very first time.
Gene suffers from severe dementia, and cannot even remember his own face. He also suffers from loneliness according to daughter Cathy- until the daycare kids came into his life. “Oh my goodness, they have been such a blessing to daddy. And he lights up,” Cathy said.
Every afternoon for an hour, Gene spends time with the children and whenever he hears them playing. “He just goes right to the front yard,” Cathy said. When asked if it will be a joyful thing if he goes outside, “Exactly,” Cathy responded, adding, “Because it’s love. And, you know, everybody responds to love.”
A 91-year-old man with dementia forms a special bond with kids across the street: "Everybody responds to love"
“We always tell the kids that his brain is kind of sick, but his heart remembers us,” Meghan added. What a beautiful way these children and Meghan have been spreading love and light in Gene’s life.