When Mom first started declining, I was scared, and that fear manifested itself into anger. Many of the families of my clients admit that they get frustrated with their loved one who has dementia. I understand. It is scary to watch your loved one change.
I was upset when Mom could no longer set the kitchen table on Sundays when we brought her to our home each week for family dinners. I was so afraid when I saw that she could no longer do this simple task.
As I worked with Fit Minds in Canada and learned more about dementia, my anger dissipated, and I learned to redirect Mom, not engage in debates about whether someone stole her purse, and always talk “to” her and not “around” her. I also found projects she could do that would give her a sense of purpose.
Mom would always say to me, “You work too hard. Let me help.” So, I would let her set the table and when she wasn’t looking, my daughter Lindsay would correct her errors ~ for example, putting forks that were missing next to the knives. I would ask her to fold my clothes. Mom would say, “I am so glad to help you. You work so hard.” She would fold the clothes, stopping often to say, “Who does this belong to” and while it didn’t matter…it was going into the folded clothes basket anyway, I would tell her. I would then thank her profusely and she would smile and kiss me, saying she was glad to help.
I work so hard because I see the difference Fit Minds is having on so many seniors. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like a blessing.