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

Posted in Caring, Long-Term Care and nursing homes | Leave a comment

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

Why develop elders?

Why do I want to develop elders? Because now is the best chance for us to make life better for all grandchildren. Now we know all the ages. Now we suddenly see more. Now we have the health and wealth and spirit to help life see more, be more, do more.

:- Doug.

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Regard for grandchildren?

Do we—I—have a positive, respectful regard for the grandchildren?

:- Doug.

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Will you be any good?

When you grow older, will you be any good at it?

:- Doug.

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Blooming age!

Blooming age!

:- Doug.

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We grow

In age we grow; for whom?

:- Doug.

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The grandchildren die

If you fail, the grandchildren die.

:- Doug.

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What will the grandchildren need?

What will the grandchildren need?

:- Doug.

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Large depth of field

Elders have large depth of field.

:- Doug.

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Transition to elder:

Transition to elder: What do you want to be (for all the grandchildren) when you grow up?

:-Doug.

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Choose growing

Choose to grow: For all the grandchildren.

:- Doug.

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Even when you were 10

Make a list of anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Yes, even when you were 10.

:- Doug.

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Last time canoeing

How can you know when will be the last time you go canoeing with your grandchildren?

:- Doug.

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Cookies and tree limbs

Time’s a-wasting: cookies, tree limbs, and grandchildren.

:- Doug.

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Will you waste?

Will you waste your added capacities?

:- Doug.

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For or receive

It is really more about what we do or fail to do for the generations, than added capacity we receive.

:- Doug.

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Grandchildren left out

Give what you’ve got, or grandchildren may not get.

:- Doug.

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The meaning of you?

What is the meaning of you at this time of your life?

:- Doug.

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