Lessons Mother has taught me…lately

JRwatercolors_Page_06I read a lot about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (ADOD) and learn something new every day.  The core of what I’m hearing from others is borne out by my experience with Mom:

  • Celebrate who she is; don’t dwell on who she was
  • Recognize that – though changed –she is still here
  • Mom lives with ADOD.  Eliminate the words “Alzheimer’s sufferer” from your vocabulary.  They define her as a victim and limit your ability to find joy and purpose in your lives together.
  • Meet her in her time;  don’t ask her to come to yours
  • Leave your issues at the door.  Be genuinely positive – she will immediately pick up on and absorb any negative energy…
  • …which is easier to do if you learn to enjoy real time.  It’s really quite peaceful:  no expectations, no regrets, no worries, just the moment.  Don’t try to control it and you’ll be surprised how happy, peaceful and satisfying it can be for both of you.
  • Smile
  • Laugh
  • Touch and hug

I wish I’d known these things when my father was in the end game of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.   I would have adapted.  I would have been more patient, definitely would never have imposed my feelings/old issues on him; would have focused more on ways to engage him; wouldn’t have been so stingy with my time and energy and most certainly would have improved the quality of his life and mine.

There is an absolutely wonderful post about this subject in the Alzheimer’s Reading Room by Bob Demarco.  http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/?utm_source=The+Abilitity+to+Adapt+to+the+Deeply+Forgetful&utm_campaign=The+Abilitity+to+Adapt+to+the+Deeply+Forgetful&utm_medium=email


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