I love it when people add their knowledge to mine, especially when they are really specific and the advice is spot on. When I posted 15 tips to make alzheimer dementia shower time successful not stressful, Becky Gabbard. who follows MyAlzheimersStory on Facebook, made this comment:
“Good suggestions. But I didn’t see one asking for permission as the process progresses on a daily basis.There were some days Mom could wash herself and shampoo her hair and other days she was lost. So at every step I asked her “Do you want to wash your _____ or would you like me to help you do it?”
And she would say “I’ll do it.” or “Thank you,” and then she let me do it. I watched her balk at others’ giving her “help” as they just did what they thought they had to do, and didn’t ask her if she wanted help or could do it herself — especially in the bathroom! Even in her severe stage there were days she could do it herself and other days she was lost as to what to do first, from the simplest things such as pulling down her pants before she sat on the toilet. Asking, and asking her permission, made us happy dance partners in the bathroom.”
I found exactly the same thing when helping Mom. She knew at any given moment what she felt confident doing as well as what was too much. Asking if she wanted or needed help gave her the opportunity to do whatever it was for herself when she could or to get assistance in a respectful way when she couldn’t. I feel certain this allowed us to avert many potential confrontations. Here’s an example of the kind of situation that may ensue when we don’t ask permission.
Asking permission is so important that I’m going to add it to to the “A” in my BANGS model. And it occurred to me that an easy way to remember this step for people of my generation would be to recall the childhood game “Mother May !?”
Do you have any great care partnering tips to share? I would love the hear them.
Image copyright: chassenet / 123RF Stock Photo