News, Information and Ideas on how to deal with hearing loss in a hearing world. Plus a few other topics!
It's hard to believe that we've been in this new world of Elder Care for over 6 months now. It's also frustrating to see how many things we've left behind as we continue this journey.
During one of Moms' recent hospital stays, we got a long period of having 'Mom' back. We heard her laugh, saw her sense of humor and cherished every minute of it. You never know how long you'll have these periods!
Within a couple of days, things were back to the new 'normal'. This also meant that our visits with her were going to be stressful. Mom is a very independent person. She will be the first to tell you that she does things her way. While we may not agree with how she goes about this, we also understand that one day, it will be our turn to take this journey.
In our conversations with Mom, we have a pretty good idea of where she's at in this whole process. We've also learned that there are stages to the Elder journey. Mom is convinced that she is going to live to be at least 90. She'll turn 80 in April. In order to do that, Mom has specific ideas on how to reach her goal. She's told us that she wants to do things her way. We let her until we just can't stand it anymore. Then, we cut the visit short and promise to come back soon.
We've now reached the point where there is no greeting when we walk into her room. But, she always has a request upon her seeing us. It can be something as simple as finding her nail file or as complicated as finding the right color of socks to match the outfit that she has on. Usually, it involves one of us going to a store to get the requested item. She once sent me on a mission to find sweet, perfect strawberries. I had my directions as to how she wanted them and set out to find them. Keep in mind that it's winter in Wisconsin. There are no fresh berries at farmers markets at this time of year.
Upon my return to her room with the item in hand, she looked at them and was very disappointed that they still had seeds on them. That's when I realized that she had neglected to remember that strawberry seeds irritated her gums when they got under her dentures. I'm still used to reacting to her requests. I need to learn how to think each request through so that I'm not out running around to get things and then end up disappointed myself when she reacts negatively to what I've brought. I solved this dilemma by finding sugar free, seedless smuckers strawberry jam. She loves it on her toast and she's now happy to have her strawberries.
We've also run into her critical days. We call them this since we know what is going to come when we walk into her room is nothing but criticism. No matter how we converse with her, she will find a negative. When we tell her that she's being a challenge, she turns it around the makes us out to be the problem. In one of her happier moments, I 've asked her why she does this. Her response is that she wants her thoughts and opinions to be remembered and most people will remember negative things in their lives more than the positive ones. Interesting! So, now, if she's having one of those days, we start out the visit with asking her for the most negative thing she can think of. Then, we discuss how we can make that into a positive. Sometimes it works. Sometimes....
Have a great week!
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