I revisited my blog from last year talking about Christmas — the visits with my Mom were more difficult since she was almost always agitated and would get stuck on a specific thought and action.
Since she moved into Assisted Living, the visits are much easier. I have broken my visits down into two types: I’m visiting the lion or the lamb.
When I show up and I’m facing the lioness, three things that have served me well include:
- Smile and patiently answer questions … until you can politely redirect the conversation
- Don’t say “Remember” The lack of short-term memory is usually the first symptom to take root and pointing it out only creates bad-feelings and animosity.
- Explaining only creates more confusion Layered with the lack of short-term memory, the idea that logic will prevail tripped me up initially. I will explain something once, then work to redirect the conversation.
My mother has always been a very independent woman. She raised four kids while my Dad was away at War in the 50s and 60s and was always the prime disciplinarian. While dementia can change behaviors, the need to independence and sense of purpose is still very alive and well in my Mom. Practiced.
Please share with me if there are things you do that help you and the person you are caring for.