Kids have a way of saying the darndest things. Sometimes they make you question their sanity, while other times they make your heart melt with their purity. In the case of Emma Heming Willis and Bruce Willis’ 9-year-old daughter, Evelyn, she made everyone’s heart melt with a simple, yet pure gesture.
In May, Emma took to Instagram to share a beautiful story about how Evelyn was taking it upon herself to care for her 68-year-old father – who was diagnosed with aphasia in March 2022 and later diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in February 2023 – a condition that has worsened over the past seven months.
“I have to tell you this story, and I’m going to try and do it without crying because when Evelyn told me this story, I was an absolute puddle,” Heming Willis began her video on May 22. She goes on to recount a fun fact Evelyn randomly told her about dementia – people with dementia can become extremely dehydrated.
Her daughter’s fun fact had her stumped for a moment as she wondered where a 9-year-old would learn that – so she asked. And her daughter’s response was as good as you could imagine. “Well, I was at school the other day, and I had some free time and I was looking at fun facts about dementia,” she said.
While Emma was quick to point out that there’s nothing funny about dementia, she did find her daughter’s intuition funny and couldn’t help but notice the similarities between Evelyn and Bruce – revealing that her husband is quite the sucker for fun and random facts. She then praised her daughter for her compassion.
“So I said to her, ‘OK, Evelyn, we will always make sure that Daddy has a bottle of water in hand. Thank you for letting me know.’ I said, ‘That is the most loving and compassionate thing that you can do is to be curious and educate yourself on your dad’s disease,’” Emma Heming Willis said of her daughter, Evelyn.
And it’s something we can all learn from. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, people with dementia often become dehydrated because they don’t realize or simply can’t communicate that they’re thirsty. Since dehydration can worsen dementia symptoms, caregivers and loved ones need to keep an eye on it.
Emma Heming Willis Shares Touching Quote About Caregivers
In the caption of her video, Emma Heming Willis took a moment to share an important quote that all loved ones and caregivers should memorize. The quote was originally by Adria Thompson, a speech language pathologist (SLP) who completed most of her continuing education (CE) hours in the area of dementia.
“On behalf of the person you’re caring for that has dementia, whether they can express it or not – I want to say thank you,” Thompson said in a one-on-one conversation with Emma – which she shared a video of. “Thank you for loving them, thank you for spending time to educate yourself about dementia.”
Adria goes on to describe how educating yourself about your loved one’s daily struggles ‘is the most compassionate thing that you can do by having more insight into their world and the life they are experiencing that they can’t always express.’ Heming Willis described the quote as a ‘mic drop’ moment.
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In the seven months since Emma Heming Willis posted that video, she has continued to be an advocate for those living with dementia and caregivers all around the world. And while she might feel alone at times as she continues to battle alongside Bruce, at least she knows her daughter is right there beside them.
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