During the first two years Mom was in dementia jail, she was still able to walk. I would often bring her to my house (which was a three-minute drive up the hill), for supper, a music session or just to hang out.
We would talk about everything from soup to nuts. Sometimes our conversations were light and airy, sometimes they were emotional and difficult. When they were the latter, I made a special effort to be with her in whatever space she was in so we would be connected.
My life experience has taught me that some stuff can’t be fixed, no matter how hard you try to make it better. And as a care partner, I learned that people who live with dementia are human beings with feelings just like the rest of us. They struggle just like the rest of us. They want to succeed just like the rest of us.
When Mom and I struggled, we supported each other. We found these five things helped us get through tough times (maybe they’ll work for you too):
- Hold hands
- Cry together
- Do what you believe is the right thing
- Do the best you can
- Share chocolate
Here’s a real life example / demonstration from a conversation Mom and I had on April 10, 2013. I had brought her to my place for supper. We were struggling, and we didn’t know what to do:
we all go through rough patches. here’s one thing that can help us get to the other side.
doing the right thing when everything seems wrong