Lilacs & Greensleeves: Passing Through Their World
Day after day Care4You caregivers are spending precious hours with our clients, helping in whatever way is needed. We are walking through their world, a world that is on most occasions, very familiar to them.
And sometimes our dear clients who are walking their roads with dementia….for them, this world may not be that familiar. Never the less they need our continued respect with decisions that they may make when we as caregivers may not fully understand, at that particular time.
Example….Mom wants to go outside. She wants to leave the house she is in. The reason? She just wants to go out….period! But it’s evening and it’s dark outside. You offer her that simple explanation but she doesn’t believe it. She continues to tell you that she is leaving and gets up and moves towards the door.
As she goes to open the door you gently remind her again that it’s dark outside and instead of restraining her, you are there beside her. She finally sees for herself that it truly is dark, so she shuts the door and heads back to her chair.
In her world she wanted to do something her way and yet instead of arguing with her that her decision is not the best one, this was a moment when you could let her see that this wasn’t the way to go, all the while keeping her safe as you stood beside her.
Another example…you find your Dad standing outside his home and staring towards the street. You ask him where he is going. He looks at you and tells you he is going home but he can’t find out where it is. He is unsure and scared. You tell him he ‘is’ home but he doesn’t recognize anything in front of him.
You don’t argue. You tell him that you will lead him home and then gently take him by the hand and slowly turn him around towards his front door where as he looks ahead recognizing his abode he exclaims, “Oh there it is” and with assistance from you, he walks up to his door and goes inside, very much at peace knowing that he truly is back home.
No arguments….no getting into a match of wits as to who is right and who is wrong. He is respected at an incredibly vulnerable moment in his life. He now is familiar with where he is.
For the moment.
And those with dementia, along with all of us who are their caregivers and loved ones, are living in that moment together….their moment.
A moment that may not happen again, at least for a while or may immediately be revealed in another attempt as before. It may even be in a question that they will ask over and over again, the same question where our answers aren’t understood by those we are caring for.
Yes indeed, it’s their world and we are passing through it with them.
A time that Care4You recognizes can be so frustrating for our clients and very difficult for those who love them.
The work involved with our clients can also be everything from companionship to keeping their homes neat and clean. We help with hands on personal care such as bathing and dressing or preparing good meals where sometimes assistance is needed with eating, just to name a few. All in an effort to do our best in every way possible for each and every one of them, when their care is entrusted to us.
As caregivers we realize that this world we are coming into with each visit, is not our world per say. It is their world and we enter it with respect, compassion and understanding.
For those clients who want to remain as independent in their homes for as long as possible, we absolutely applaud them in their efforts. They make that effort at their own pace, their own speed and in their own way. For those endeavors that are safe to accomplish as we evaluate each step of the way in which we walk with them, we become their cheerleaders.
And for those times when we may need to offer a suggestion or two, we try to do it with an understanding of the feelings of our clients in a way that shows respect for them and if safety is not an issue, we then give them the final say.
Care4You’s owner, Donna Hoover, is quoted as compassionately saying,
“Everyone here considers it the ultimate privilege to care for someone at a time when they are most vulnerable.
They are allowing us, a virtual stranger, to come in and become a part of their life and we are deeply honored.”
After all, this is their world!
And while we are there with our clients, we are faithfully walking alongside them every step of the way and yes indeed, we truly are deeply honored!
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