Dementia Demeanor

Our heart of hearts tends to hide what our eyes see, our ears hear and our mind denies, but knows.  Jaded on the surface our masquerade unravels revealing subtle realities, arousing more doubt than hope.

Storms have always come and gone.  New storms emerge, raining profanity and slander, mixed with short-circuit anger.  Navigating new health threats, while you are unaware, leaves me feeling lonely with regrets.

Our mother is suffering at the brunt of dad’s anger. She is learning to communicate as a dementia caregiver.  Dad’s demeanor easily changes from grumpier to angrier.  Frustration stimulates anger.

Still, those with dementia can take and pass their driver’s test and be certified to drive for another year.  Being reminded of this raises awareness and instills perhaps a bit of fear.

Dad and mom have been strong, capable role models, whom we have observed.  They have poured their lives into each of us, steadily, as we have learned.  We have become strong, independent sons and daughters.

Parents may need our help more than they know or say.  Listen for their answers.  Do their conversations fade?  Let’s suggest acceptable ways to enhance their quality of life.  Everyone could use a break and some praise.

How do we honor our life-time heroes in their living years?  Our efforts will likely see new heroes emerge from our mirrors.  Capture life in its full-bloom glory.  Savor life’s pleasures. Reminisce the stories.

Dementia is an ill-fate for our provider, army veteran, 62-year marriage to mom, Christian father of six, brother, brother in-law, uncle, grandfather, business owner, friend of community and cancer survivor.

Dementia is surely like a single passenger, southbound train that won’t stop or wait.  Before the last call for tickets, each of us concerned continues to engage our parents, making all the difference.

Let’s check with mom to be mindful of her peace and quiet.  Sometimes less is more.  Let’s let her know that we are aware and that their best interests are at our core, no less and no more.

I personally read these thoughts to mom before sharing them with you and she approved this message.

The Ten Absolutes Offered for Dementia Caregivers (Credit to Community Touch Point)

  1. Never Argue, Instead Agree.
  2. Never Reason, Instead Divert.
  3. Never Shame, Instead Distract.
  4. Never Lecture, Instead Reassure.
  5. Never Say “Remember?”, Instead Reminisce.
  6. Never Say “I Told You!”, Instead Repeat.
  7. Never Say “You Can’t!” Instead Say “Do What You Can”.
  8. Never Command or Demand, Instead Ask or Model.
  9. Never Condescend, Instead Encourage and Praise.
  10. Never Force, Instead Reinforce.
A tulip springs for the hope in each of us!

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