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

To loosely guide

If strategic questions were the way to loosely guide, what form of question? Will it be overt questions or subtle?

:- Doug.

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To keep on living

What’s your project? To keep on living it seems you gotta have a project.

:- Doug.

Posted in Aging, Eldering | Leave a comment

“Knockout gene”

Saw a video last night by E. O. Wilson about humanity’s “unusual genetic mutation, or “knockout gene,” that gave rise to eusociality, or the social condition that allows non-reproductive members of a species to support its reproductive members.” https://bigthink.com/videos/edward-o-wilson-on-eusociality It may be that our newly added generation is in fact reproductive in a new way, through creativity, story, and reaching forward.

:- Doug.

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Do the 2-step

Do the 2-step: Take the thought further, especially when you think it’s complete.

:- Doug.

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Inscrutable, but GIGO?

Perhaps what we fear most from artificial intelligence is it unintelligibility: its to us inscrutability. And its insusceptibility to our attempts to influence it. (Might we try with bad data input—GIGO?)

:- Doug.

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Wouldn’t you read it?

If your eleventh generation grandfather had written a story wouldn’t you want to read? Particularly if it were addressed to you? Wouldn’t you make an effort to interpret its language and thought patterns into your own life? A story from your own life would hold the interest for your eleventh generation grandchild, or a story you make up and address to them saying “I wrote this for you.” Perhaps you ask them strategic questions.

:- Doug.

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Computer marriage

Often the conquered people take over the conquerors by way of time and intermarriage. What might happen when the computers and humans intermarry?

:- Doug.

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This level of thinking

Whether or not we attain the level of artificial general intelligence, we want this level of question, this level of thinking. Maybe we can teach it to our machines, or take it with us into the merger.

:- Doug.

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Territory comprehensive

I have been intuiting where to go, and that has been to the more comprehensive, and into the territory of “second wind,” and “why again:” it is to truth underneath truth.

:- Doug.

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In case of explosion

What shall we do if there is artificial general intelligence and an intelligence explosion?

:- Doug.

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Ask your characters

If you ask strategic questions of your characters, your story will come alive, move, go deeper. Do we want to ask such questions of the eleventh generation?

:- Doug.

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Communication of the second kind

Communication of the second kind, as used by Fran Peavey, has echoes of Robert McKee’s subtext. It is what really motivates one but is seldom voiced by, or even consciously known to, that one.

:- Doug.

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Those from 1719

Do those from 1719 have nothing valuable to tell us? How would we find what they have to say?

:- Doug.

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Intimate with futures?

Could we become intimate with the futures, and those who live in them?

:- Doug.

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Assistance?

If we could get assistance reading, say picking out the “meat” from several articles on a subject of importance, could that advance our thinking? Is there value in seeing how the writers got there? Could we get assistance with that too? Is speed and short the only criteria? Could we get assistance with that too?

:- Doug.

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Memory gets in the way of thinking

Memory gets in the way of thinking in two ways. Something we once thought impedes current thinking. So we won’t forget, we try to hang on to something we once thought.

:- Doug.

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Consciousness singularity

Can consciousness survive a singularity? Several?

:- Doug.

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