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

A poem calls to attend

I think I will lean more to speaking of writing poems, or even poems writing me, rather than poetry. Poetry is a general category: a poem calls me to attend.

:- Doug.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Poems in bed!

It was a busy morning today: writing poems in bed!

:- Doug.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

with, find

With grandchildren, find poems!

:- Doug.

Posted in Eldering, Family, Poetry | Leave a comment

What you said

What you said
Hear
Run it through again

:- Doug.

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Workin’ ya

Workin’ ya
poems are for

:- Doug.

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Conflict does not

Conflict does not necessitate combat.

:- Doug.

Posted in Conversation, Family | Leave a comment

we find our stuff

Just here, in tragedy, we find our stuff. Just here, in our joy and their need.

:- Doug.

Posted in Caring, Death and living while dying, Eldering, Emergency/Crisis Medical, Family, Grieving, Long-Term Care and nursing homes, Professional Caregivers | Leave a comment

echoes backdrop

echoes
backdrop
law practice

:- Doug.

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Far from teaching

Far from teaching
I am hearing

:- Doug.

Posted in Eldering, Poetry | Leave a comment

Saturday morning

Saturday morning
lingers abed
poems writing me

:- Doug.

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children become

The grandchildren become the grandparents.

:- Doug.

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I ask this course

I ask this course What about our future ancestors matters?

:- Doug.

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Then I did not know

Then
I did not know
what was
my message
supposing

since
joy
is gathering
splashes
from converse

:- Doug.

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poems poems gathering

poems poems gathering gathering

:- Doug.

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Gather grandchildren

Gather grandchildren.

:- Doug.

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Every day stirs

Every day stirs me
ask the grandchildren

:- Doug.

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Sunrise convinces

Sunrise convinces
the quest is right
sing new poems

:- Doug.

Posted in Eldering, Poetry | Leave a comment