I provide care to a family member who is quite frankly the sunshine that brings life to my earth.
I have no question of my duties, I don’t have problems putting every moment of my day into providing care.
What I am struggling with is I am finding I’ve lost connection with knowing how to take the moments I have with my loved one and make memories they enjoy.
I just want to see them smile, uncontrollably laugh, spark the personality I once knew to be the light of my life.
They have a long list of ailments but the most painful to witness is the Dimentia and it’s affects as I am mourning someone I know is still ‘here’.
How do I get someone who’s beyond the point of return to find happiness and joy in life and days with our family.
They no longer comprehend emotion, wants, needs, likes… oh but by god do they know how to tell you they don’t like something
I really don’t want to lose anymore moments, yes death is inevitably soon in this equation and so I can’t quite seem to shake that I am everyday in “frontline support” mode where I put almost all the needs of care above the social element of making someone I love happy, content, maybe even get them to forget their fading away.
They truly are a fighter and have passed their life expectancy by months now.
If anyone understands or can make sense of ally post I’d much appreciate how I can just make them feel 25 again, because right now I’ve forgotten how to be 25 myself!
I suggest you do things that make you happy as if you are happy, smiling and laughing they are likely to enjoy your company more and subconsciously pick up on your mood.
Tap into their long ago memories - music they enjoyed, pictures of when they were young, handle memorabilia they have kept.
Lastly, connect through their senses - sounds, smells, tastes, movements , things to watch/ look at and touch.
Eg make cakes and let them touch, smell and taste the ingredients, listen to you talking about the process, watch you combining the ingredients, they might like to stir, enjoy the smell of them cooking and how they taste. Hand massages with scented lotion or aromatherapy oil, watching and listening to the birds visiting a bird feeder. Etc
Dear Michael, mate you sound like a saint. I honestly don’t know what to say to you. Needless to say I sincerely do wish you all the best in what you do.
Melly is probably right. Taste and smell are powerful ways of evoking the past. Consider perhaps a scented candle or music that might evoke memories.
Acceptance is difficult. The person may have lost so much brain power that it is pointless. To try is to be constantly disappointed. I tried to help my son read, finally had to accept it was never going to happen. I would suggest concentrating on the senses. Music that used to please the soul, lightly scented hand cream for a massage. Taste and smell in the elderly may not work well. My mum used to be like a bloodhound when we were little, in her late years she kept changing the meal companies she used because “it’s all tasteless”. In fact her senses had faded. I’m not saying give up, but don’t be too disappointed if your efforts don’t work as well as you hoped.
Bless you Bun,
I’ve reached that stage too as her dexterity isn’t quite there anymore so things like card games or cooking are always possible.
However I can engage her with the recipe and process till she smells the fruits of her labour.
Taste has most definitely changed but a sweet tooth has come through in flavours absence.
My mum always loved baking cakes, so do I, and in turn I’ve taught my sons and grandson. I’m sure that even if your loved one can’t do much to help, being around when food is being prepared could bring senses and feelings from long ago.