I know you are saying needed ? You are already tired of caring for your loved one so how could you have time to help even more people? I am not talking about us being needed, I am talking about our patients wanting to feel needed. If you are like me when the person you care for finally and I mean finally goes to sleep you try to get everything done around the house that you can’t do while they are awake undoing everything you do.
My mom for example unfolds the clothes that I washed and have already put away and lays them out all over her bed. She thinks my dad (who is deceased) is coming to pick her up from my house. It’s sad and I miss my dad but I really hope his ghost doesn’t come pick her up. If he does he needs a lot of space for her clothes. I later remember that when my mom was in high school she worked at a laundry. She use to fold the clothes and starch and iron shirts for the local businessmen. That may explain her laundry obsession.
Now instead of folding the clothes I have her fold her own clothes. If your parent is in the early stages of dementia they still may be able to help do things. I started having my mom fold her own clothes and put them in the drawer. With supervision of course. She actually started singing while folding one day and she was proud of her perfectly folded clothes. She still thinks my dad is gong to come get her but at least the clothes stay in the drawers.
In my late 20’s before my mom had dementia I helped her take care of my grandmother. Grandmother Ruth was a whole different kind of patient. She was fussier, demanding and insisted that we were still living on her grandpas farm in Oklahoma. I couldn’t ask her to help she was not capable. What she did enjoy was when I would ask her to tell me stories about farming,going to school in a one room school house, how her dad worked hard and owned his own property when most blacks in those days did not. She was a wealth of information and it made her happy to tell me these stories.
So the point of this blog today is is that in my experience for those that are able just giving them a purpose every day and making them feel useful brightens their day. I know my punctuation my be horrible. i will be adding my wonderful big sister jennifer to this blog as an editor and concessional contributor as well.
Have a great day and do something good for yourself! You deserve it. I have to go my mom is feeding my dog a piece of pie that she shouldn’t have….