Friday, March 27, 2015

I have a lot to learn...

I just removed a post I wrote a few days ago about a daughter trying to teach her parent with Alzheimer's how to unlock a door and get somewhere on time. My point in that post was that she was being unrealistic about brain damage. 

I'm kind of shocked I was so insensitive--- all I could see was what she was doing "wrong", i.e. not scientifically realistic.

How did I miss what was really happening? 
Someone was helping her father in the best way she could figure out, at that time.
That's all; and that's a whole lot of the most important thing.


Lady Chardonnay said...

I love your tender heart so much.

Your post did not seem insensitive at all. You had one perspective, which took precedence at the time. Now you have an additional perspective. And yes, while the daughter was trying to help her father, clearly there was some denial going on there as well, on her part — which is of course understandable.

I would be so grateful if someone with your wisdom, compassion, kindness, and clear eyes were part of the caregiving team, for myself or for a loved one, should that day come.

Have a lovely weekend!

The Crow said...

Lady Chardonnay said everything I was thinking, only better than I could have put it.

Fresca said...

Lady C & Crow, Thanks for your perspective. I can get my knickers in a twist over all this stuff.

The main thing I take from this is a reminder not to overlook or get impatient with families. They ahve a hellish transformation to make, and if they can't make it... Well,
in truth, if *any* family member or friend shows up to visit someone on the Memory Care floor, they are a champion (sad to say): LOTS of people never get visitors.

Zhoen said...

The advantage of dementia is that soon, all is forgiven and forgotten. A new start every time.

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: Has, yes, there't that. Alas, the same can't be said of their families (or us!).

Julia said...

I think it's good to have different perspectives. Even if a person likely learn something based on their cognitive level, if they are engaged in the process of learning with minimal frustration on both sides, there's something to be said for that. It's such a fundamentally human thing.

There are times when my father really experiences intellectual satisfaction at learning/discussing novel (to him, he thinks) new things. Dementia hasn't erased his insatiable curiosity. And there are times when I am beating my head against a wall because I'm not in a good place to acknowledge and accept his limitations and I needlessly draw him into my own anxieties.

It's interesting what he *can* learn--he was the first one to memorize my new apartment number, within days of me moving there (something that took my mother and siblings weeks to months to remember (but they knew they had other ways of accessing that info and contacting me when they arrive)). The mind might be sievelike, but even a large-holed screen will occasionally capture little bits of flour before they shake down and are lost.

Just pondering this, having read both this post and then shortly after it, the deleted one (using an RSS reader). I really find learning with dementia fascinating.