Connections sums it up. As humans we are wired to be connected. Don’t stop now.
Create a Village: Let people know that your loved one is changing. Life is meant to shared. Tap into existing friends, family, neighbors, church family who extend a helping hand.
Don’t be a super hero: accept help offered or ASK for help. It can be scary with so many family roles shifting. Your elder can still make decisions and now you may be the one to implement. When cognition changes, involve your loved one in conversations. Please don’t talk about a person present as if they were invisible. Think no conversations about me, without me.
Create moments of JOY….simplicity is best. Enjoy time together. Open scrapbooks, walk in the park., enjoy an ice cream cone, adapt a family favorite game. Activities are everywhere J
Organize legal affairs: Too many people wait until crisis emerges and then reactive thinking happens. Be prepared and open to hard conversations. The more difficult matters are discussed (treatment options, body changes, adapting living situation for better functioning (safety),final wishes, life celebration/funeral arrangements can be healthy when openly discussed. When organized this opens time up to BE with your loved one.
Adjust, flex and discover more: as loved ones change, change with them. If memory changes show up, don’t correct your loved one or act impatient.
Explain and involve children into the process: This informs, decreases societal myths about aging and cultivates sensitivity and compassion.
We fear what we don’t understand and fill in the spaces, often with incorrect information. Share your care journey with others. Listen to their experiences, swap resources and enjoy life’s journey.