Monday, January 6, 2014
What Can I do ?
What can I do? That's the question everyone has about their loved one. What can I do?
With dementia everything changes all the time. What works today may not tomorrow, or ever again.
This only adds to the stress of a caregiver. You will read suggestion on Mp that say "try this or try that."
Some suggestions work. Some will not. Every patient is different. And every patient does not react to what you are trying to help them with.
I think the most important thing to remember is how your loved one was, is not how they are now. Chances are they belonged to the generation that were a proud, patriotic, and private generation.
Hardly ever complaining. Used to doing things themselves. Hate asking anyone for help, and certainly didn't want to be a burden on anyone.
All of this goes out the window when you reach the mid to late stages of this disease.
I used to make life and death decisions, sometimes in seconds. Now I stand in front of my sock drawer and think, which pair?
I cannot stress enough how everything changes with this disease. Most family members/caregivers see this change, yet treat their loved one as things once were.
It's natural. But in the end it won't work. So the answer to "What can I do?" is always nothing.
Nothing, meaning you can be there for them, you can assist them with daily things, you can be their caregiver...but you can't change what is happening.
Try to understand what is happening you just can't fix. As bad as it is today, today my very well be the best day they ever have again.
I along with everyone here wishes thing were different. But they're not. It's those who go through this journey thinking things will get better, or they can do something to "fix" what is happening that will struggle the most in the end.
They are indeed just fooling themselves. I myself have come to grips with this disease. Long ago I made peace with what is happening, what is going to happen.
That doesn't mean I like it, or long for some drug that could make my life more manageable. I know every morning I wake up, and every night I go to bed what is going on.
That I believe is the hardest part. Losing your mind and knowing it is happening. As patients we try hard to keep our feelings in check.
As caregivers you try hard to not look at a loss. Both of us are kidding each other. All we have in the end is each other. I don't like what is happening, but I have learned to cope with it.
For now. Right this moment. An hour from now, I may not be able to say that. Because an hour from now I will not remember making this post.
That's what can't be fixed. Live in the moment. Don't worry about what tomorrow or next week will bring. For me, there is no tomorrow. There is only right now. My yesterdays have long been gone.
One day at at time. Sometimes one hour at a time. It's all we can do. And really it's all I can handle....