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Time of Life
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
I've been going through a strange time in my life emotionally lately. My nursing career is coming to an end within a year or two, and I am grieving that loss. One identifies oneself with one's profession, especially after 54 years! I have a lot of knowledge in my head I want to share with the world. Ok, I've written a manual for mental health behavior management, and two books on Alzheimer care, I write this blog, but I have a computer full of information I've gathered over the years. Yesterday I came across a paper I wrote before 2007. It was good! I updated it, did a little editing, but essentially the information today is the same as then. Alzheimer care takes compassion, patience, and flexibility. One must be other-oriented. Caregiving is not a self centered activity for sure.
I started to think what the person newly diagnosed with dementia who has to give up his work thinks and feels. He must grieve as I am doing right now. I wonder if we fully understand (I don't think we do) what it is like to lose parts of yourself as the disease progresses (not just one's work but also abilities). And, what can we do to ease that transition? Probably do what we dementia coaches at StilMee impress on families to do; see the person behind the disease with all his history, abilities and strengths. Oh, there are more strengths left than are diminished by this disease. Find them, empower them to use them, and show appreciation for the effort.
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"I learned not to treat my father like a child; to continue to talk with him as an adult."

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