Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Learning From The Past

Do we learn from past situations and mistakes and do it right the second time around should the same situations present themselves?  Or...do we make the same mistakes all over again?  When caring for mom, I learned some lessons the hard way, hard for both her and I.  Trying to insist someone do something they simply can not do any longer, because you cannot accept the real reality of it, is painful for all involved.  Being able to recognize this and accepting the changes and making the necessary adjustments in your care of your parent or other loved one, will make things easier for all.  I wrote about this very thing November 6, 2009, below is the blog post.   

Acceptance of Change

Accepting what I cannot change, changing the things I can, and accepting the changes quicker, things would go a bit easier if I would do that, both for mom and for me!
As the dementia progressed and caused physical changes as well as the mental, I kept holding on to the way it was rather than accepting the how it is now. So, frustration would take over all to often, until I finally got to that point of ‘it is what it is’.
Once I accept that she can't do what she used to, and make the necessary adjustments in her care, things go smoother, for everyone.
As I said to my husband, acceptance of change means reaching into another pocket of my ‘caregiver coat’ pulling out it's contents and seeing what is next.

The wonderful lady I have been taking care of this year, has been going through many changes as the dementia has progressed.  There were two major emotional events two weeks ago, which caused both physical and mental changes to occur, the death of her sister, who was her only living sibling, and her daughter going back home after a visit.  We can pinpoint to that day as to when these changes began to develop.  She has also taken a fall twice in the past week,  adding to the progression.  

Yesterday, I had to rethink my plan of care and schedule for her, realizing I am dejavuing what I went through with mom.  Different individual, different needs etc, but changes happening =changes and adjustments that needed to be made.  We can not force her to do which she does not have the mental or physical ability to perform or understand.  I am grateful for a few quiet moments yesterday to reflect on my times with mom, and lessons learned the hard way, which will now make my care giving for my lady in many ways more easier for all concerned.  I will do what is needed to be done to make life as comfortable for her as possible, make the necessary changes in her care and routine, for her safety and comfort.
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