I was a sandwich generation caregiver. I was raising two children and caring for two parents with undiagnosed cognitive issues. It was incredibly difficult. I turned to blogging to help keep my siblings in touch with what was going on and found it became my own public therapy. I was pleased to learn how many other adult family caregivers found hope, healing, camaraderie, and a few laughs in my posts. I originally wrote this in 2012 and am resharing one of the many life lessons I learned on my journey.
It is hard to deal with any loved one when they change. Over the past two years, I’ve gone from passive to confrontational to detached. And repeated this cycle a few times.
When I started to view my parents through the filter of “head injury,” my visits with my parents changed, in a positive way. They have no control over the changes to their cognition and I have to be patient.
Today, their united front reporting that nothing is wrong is unraveling. The number of late bill payments, denial of products purchased with their credit card and lost calendars and checkbooks are increasing.
Meanwhile, my siblings and I collaborate and support each other as we all deal with my parents in different ways and on different timetables.
On one recent post, Kate Swaffer who is dealing with her own dementia sent me a note encouraging me to “Love More and Expect Less.” I’m still refining my own coping mechanisms and this was timely and sage advice. Appeased.