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

Women the favored ones

If people want to work, if they will have to repeatedly reinvent themselves, and if Betty Friedan is right that women have been reinventing themselves all their lives, does that portend that women will, in the centuries to come, be the favored ones?

:- Doug.

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One choice

One major choice
to see to wait
to step back
to allow others
to feed to nurture
to sacrifice
another choice

:- Doug.

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Grandchild’s life story

Tell us the life story of one of your 300-year grandchild elders.

:- Doug.

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Come live in the futures

You are invited to come live in the futures.

:- Doug.

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Bigger than to get you through the day

Make choices bigger than to get you through the day. You will have choices. Choose consequential.

:- Doug.

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Don’t choose well

Humanicity seems to be about choosing. If our choices are large—life-shattering—we live. If inconsequential, we bore ourselves, meaning is lost. So a useless class, all needs met, has no choices, no meaning, no reason to live. Don’t choose well, choose valiantly.

Meaning and choice emerge from one another; their significance is ever at the same amplitude.

:- Doug.

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A shard for others

As we reflect we posit meanings of ourselves, adding just a shard for others to propose their directions.

:- Doug.

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Hunger and conspire

As we hunger for insight we conspire with our reader three centuries on.

:- Doug.

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Sniff in a new direction

To discover
sniff
in a new direction

:- Doug.

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Inter-neural sport!

Conversing is the major inter-neural sport!

:- Doug.

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Humanity from humanicity

Humanity is an outgrowth of humanicity. We are unlikely to improve the core humanicity; we have a chance to improve humanity. The chance might be in utilizing inter-neural nets and dreams: converse.

:- Doug.

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Leaves us cold

The idea of a useless class and machines taking over leaves us cold. What is this “cold?” It is a clue to humanicity.

:- Doug.

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Don’t know till end?

Is it possible we don’t know what life is about until the very end?

:- Doug.

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Can we be intelligent about intelligence?

What value is there in what people 300 years ago knew? Instead, is there more value in what they felt? Is the most in what they dreamed? Can we even tap in? Can we become intelligent about intelligence, about what humanicity brings, remembering our strength is our weakness, our weakness our strength?

:- Doug.

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Hebb’s rule

Hebb’s rule some say says “neurons which fire together wire together.” Neural nets might be metaphor for people coming together so their brains wire together, helping us understand things from becoming friends to mob psychology.

:- Doug.

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He was a surprise to us all

Elder
Experienced, venerable
Grandfathering, conversing, inviting
He was a surprise to us all
Me

:- Doug.

Posted in Aging, Conversation, Eldering, Family, Poetry | Leave a comment

Holding on to past skills

There is that word “still” again! As if holding on to the past skills is the key to better life.

:- Doug.

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