Expect it. It’s going to happen. That sounds ominous. It is not
exactly a cheery thought, but it is true. Expect the unexpected. You
will never be let down. If you expect the unexpected in caregiving,
the journey becomes easier. Let me explain.
Life has a way of throwing curve balls. Sometimes there is just one
curve ball and the bases are not loaded. Sometimes there might be
several curve balls with the bases fully loaded. You can never be
sure of the life situation, but you CAN be sure the unexpected is
going to stop and make you ponder.
Momma’s dementia continues to advance. She throws curve balls at me
regularly, and sometimes I am not prepared. I like to think of myself
as an individual who understands dementia and is ready to handle this
caregiving journey. In reality, things happen that make me scratch my
head and wonder.
Momma recently moved to a new memory care community. She is doing amazingly well, and I am beyond happy. However, she called me a few evenings ago, around 7PM, to announce sha had been in her apartment the entire day and had not been invited to particiate in any activities. She also stated she had only been served one meal! OH MY GOODNESS! How could this happen?
Well, it did NOT happen. You see, I had been in Momma’s community
earlier in the day. By the time I arrived, she had enjoyed her
morning yogurt and herbal tea, participated in three morning
activities, eaten lunch, and was seriously involved in a game of “Name
That Tune Bingo”. I knew Momma’s story did not match her day.
However, her brain was certain her story was factual.
Realize what your loved one is telling you may not be true… at all.
Many times their stories will hold an element of truth that has been
exaggerated, and sometimes their stories will have no basis of truth
whatsoever. More and more I see that later situation with Momma. If you ask Momma, she will tell you she picks out all her clothes, does her
makeup, and chooses, her jewelry. Uh, no she doesn’t.
I go along with Momma’s stories. I act surprised when she tells me
she has not participated in anything all day, and I congratulate her
in doing such a fabulous job with her makeup. Then I quickly change
the subject in order to get her mind on a different subject.
Don’t be thrown a curve ball by the stories you hear from your loved
ones. Smile, go with the flow, and change the subject. That is
called Diversion Therapy, and it is a great technique to master. Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.
Back in the sixties when the economy was suffering in England, some consideration was given to selling the Rock of Gibralter to the French. All negotiations were halted when the British learned the French were planning to rename it “DeGaulle Stone.”
Sometimes, You’ve Just Got To Laugh!