Kindness Matters! It can warm any winter day!
Light up your day and theirs with a smile, a conversation, a movie, a song…. awaken their spirit with things they are familiar with. We’ve been enjoying a change of pace the last few days. Mom has had a renewed interest in music, and her love of classical music and show tunes is so apparent as the twinkle in her eyes and the smiles are definitely more frequent. She taps her toes and keeps a beat with her hand on her knee. Occasionally, we’ll hear her humming along or even singing the words to the song. That’s definitely a bit of sunshine on a very wintry day.
…with the little things.
We’ve experienced so much in the last couple of weeks and a major issue with a significant shift in mobility presented itself this last weekend. We (the caregivers) weren’t quite prepared for it — and frankly neither was Mom. She experienced frustration, anxiety, sadness, anger…. the whole range of emotions… While we’ve had some similar experiences in the past, they were short lived for the most part. Not much has changed in the last couple of days and she’s “scared.” Who wouldn’t be?
Enter in the greatness work — seeing the little things that really are blessings in disguise! Smiling through. Baby steps as we make those turns and transition from chair to walker or visa versa. Planting feet for easy push up and being sure that we are balanced in our lifts. Grateful for giggles when we don’t quite get it right the first time and are willing to “try, try, again.” Chairs that “lift” when needed.
Finding a lap tray she likes that allows for balanced plates, bowls and glasses. Raised toilet seats and secure grab bars.
Family and friends who open their hearts and drop in for a visit, just because you were on their mind.
Root beer shakes (with a scoop of protein powder added) for those days when the number of her awake hours don’t give us enough time for 3 good meals. A bedtime snack with a little more protein and fruit. And yesterday, it was a straw!
The list of “little things” is long when I look at it and last evening as we reviewed our short day – we honored each other for making the day a good one despite all the stuff that didn’t go as planned; for creating opportunities in making moments better because we could AND most importantly for sharing the love and respect we have for each other with joy and dignity.
We DO HAVE so much to be thankful for!
Scatter “kindness” wherever your go…
Last evening while getting Mom ready for bed, we reflected a bit on the day. One of my observations was that regardless of how good or bad the day has been, Mom always has a smile and a twinkle in her eye as we tuck her in for the night. And for the most part is cheerful throughout her awake hours! We are truly blessed in so many ways.
The good days certainly outnumber the bad – likely 50 to 1. That’s pretty good odds when I hear from others who are providing care.
We’ve learned to see what she loves, holds dear and then try to emulate that in ways she can feel the love too. She’s sprinkled a lot of love and kindness in her 85 years — Mom has always been known for being kind, wise and gentle.
What are you looking for today?
Don’t be afraid to stop and think about this… I totally understand that some days it’s more difficult than others.
We are blessed with a pretty wonderful familial support system. Not all caregivers and “patients” are and their worlds come crashing down when they can’t reach out to others.
Recently, we took Mom in for an appointment with her primary care physician. I guess I wasn’t expecting nor was I fully prepared for the discussion he wanted to have regarding goals and other possible outcomes for the year. While open to the process and discussion, I know I can’t make those suggested changes without the help of those in our support system. He also suggested a few things that might make our lives as caregivers easier, but some that may not.
I spent last evening thinking about the changes… and the possible silver linings that might be there… I’m still making my list, so yes, there are many potential silver linings. I’m game to have an open discussion and hope you, the reader are open to changes and silver linings too. Let’s have a #bestdayever!
See the possibilities the day has to offer.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks…. I can’t say every day has ended on a good note, but the majority of them have. Laughter and smiles are often still a norm during her awake times.
One of the questions that popped up in the last week or so for us is:
When do you as caregiver become the full time decision maker and take away one more instance of independent decision making?
I hope we can continue to allow her to make some of the basic decisions regarding her life for a while longer. Creating space for her to feel some form of independence and still being a whole person and still feel and experience big feelings and know that it’s okay and is a healthy thing.
See the possibilities….
See the good — make it a #bestday
It’s been an interesting week. We’ve experienced some highs and lows. We’ve watched as her eyes fill with joyful tears as she hears of family news and experiences the joy of the successes we’ve shared of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Every one a milestone. Photos, videos, text messages and calls and impromptu visits. #bestday
I have watched her face light up, her smile grow broader and then dim as the memory fades all too quickly. However, a day never goes by that there isn’t a thank you or I love you exchanged with everyone she meets or sees as they visit our home.
I can only hope that Alzheimer’s won’t steal that away for a bit longer… I cherish hearing her voice. Seeing her eyes light up and her beautiful smile. These are the good moments… to be treasured forever.
Make something beautiful happen today…
Despite the cold, the wet or the cloudy, the sun is shining somewhere. Find the “shine” in your day and make the most of it.
I think we’ve stumbled on the right “formula” and we are “in sync” again. It’s just taking some trial and error on the caregiver’s part (ME) to find how things mesh with Mom again as she continues to move forward on her own journey. deeper and deeper on the pathway of Alzheimer’s. We are so grateful that the decline is gradual, but that slope is moving into realms of darker days than I think we’re ready to accept.
We are grateful for the beauty we’ve been able to be a part of thus far and hope the beauty of the journey will continue to be one scattered with bits of sunshine every day.