She’s not heavy, she’s my mother: How do I deal with the stress of Mom’s or Dad’s increasing needs?

Copyright © 2011, Douglas D. Germann, Sr., Professional Corporation.
574/291-0022, fax 574/291-0024, PO Box 2796, South Bend, IN 46680-2796

No one of us has all the answers to this quandary. Life is lived in conversation, is given breath when we impart the best parts of ourselves to one another. On this page we can provide a collecting place for our collective wisdom, fears, joys, and workarounds. Please respond and share with us what works for you.

Here are some ideas that others have shared with me (I will add to these as time goes on, so check the list for new items):

  • “The people here cannot have a bad week. They are some of the few people on earth who truly live in the now.” This is what the administrator of a nursing home devoted to Alzheimer’s people told me a few weeks ago.

The job, he told me, was to meet them where they were and not try to correct them nor bring them “truth.” Rather, we need to live, for the time we are with Dad. in his truth. Remember, Dad’s brain has physically shrunk. He does not remember that Mom died, and he is physically unable to remember what you told him a minute ago.

So when you re-mind him that Mom died 5 years ago, you put him through his grief again.

Better to be kind, to be loving, than to try to bring him to your truth.

  • “My Mom has all the same emotions and the same intensity of emotions as any of us; she just has them faster and shorter. I have learned to cry and laugh with her. Five minutes later it is all forgotten.” A friend from northern California shared this with me.

“Mom told me the other day ‘Know what I miss about being in this nursing home? I cannot snuggle with my honey.’”

  • What if we worked out with a friend to visit each other’s Moms in the nursing home? We did not know them before and do not have the desire to restore them to who they once were: we can meet them as they are today.

This might also help with the issue of distance—we can know that a caring someone is companioning Mom.

  • In conferences, people tell me there are compensations for those hours and months they spent with Dad. Enjoy who they are this moment. Get to know them–now–for the first time.
  • A friend took her Mother on a trip to Mom’s hometown–here’s where our home stood–there’s where Jimmy took me to the prom–here’s where my parents are buried. It was Mom’s idea, after the daughter suggested a trip to anywhere Mom wanted to go.
  • Your own journaling. Think journaling will take too much time or you were never one for that? Could you make lists of things Mom or Dad love, things they did, questions to ask? Could you write a letter (or an email) to Mom or Dad? Check out The New Diary, by Tristine Rainer.

:- Doug

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What is the most loving way to practice Elder Caring Law?

What do you think is the most loving way to practice Elder Caring Law?

What can we do to be open, imaginative, caring, poetic, whole-making and loving for your family? Please submit your responses and comments below.

Thanks!

:- Doug.

Posted in Caring, Healing and Wholeness | 1 Comment

Inside your speeding drone

A first person view screen puts you inside your speeding drone. Could we get inside Grandpa? Can we put enough of ourselves into an artifact our 11th generation grandchild could use to meet us?

:- Doug.

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Think-ware

After dictation software comes think-ware.

:- Doug.

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What for yours?

I want my grandchildren to be more whole, more complete human beings than I. I want them to see farther, to love more deeply and effectively. What do you want for yours?

:- Doug.

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Use organic

Use organic words, phrases, and metaphors
Be subtle while you surprise
The grandchildren

:- Doug.

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Why is thinking any criterion?

Would good questions carry us to unplowed ground, to unfamiliar woods and streams? What would be their comfort level? Would they require us to think? Why is thinking any criterion?

:- Doug.

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Recognizing better questions

If we are to ask better questions, what is better? How will we recognize them?

:- Doug.

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What we want, or they?

The messages for the generations we came up with in the course were largely one dimensional: they did not present a dilemma, two choices of equal power. Ought they? Should there be something that teases the reader/hearer to go either way? Should there be a question, a message, that does not presuppose a specific answer, where “Yes” and “No” move equally well toward a right direction? Do we want them to do what we want, or what they want? What do we want them to want, and how would we want them to choose?

:- Doug.

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11 G granddaughter

Create a story for your 11th generation granddaughter.

:- Doug.

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More like us

Assume that the people in the 11th generation are more like us than unlike.

:- Doug.

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Getting better pictures

We have been developing our farsight as we have gone along, increasing it, sharpening it, honing it, getting better pictures.

:- Doug.

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Tug might be felt

We may never control the other end of the cord, yet our tug might be felt a good way along.

:- Doug.

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Touch the cord

Touch the cord far
along as you can
keep it taut
so they’ll know
you are here

:- Doug.

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Unfolding farsight

We’ve been unfolding our farsight.

:- Doug.

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Just because it’s impossible

Just because it’s impossible is no reason to not attempt. Movement is movement, shift is shift.

:- Doug.

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Qualities to increase?

What does it mean to be human? What are the qualities to increase?

:- Doug.

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Visiting familial ties

Could we some day track visits to Websites—attract them too—based on familial ties?

:- Doug.

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Beyond material

What could be good about humanity moving beyond the physical and material?

:- Doug.

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