.

Part 4: Be prepared for a strong-willed person to be strong-willed.

Practical real-life medical and health advice from a veteran registered nurse and manager of health professionals

 For a woman who spent decades raising six children – two boys and three girls survive - and making every meaningful decision in her life, it doesn’t make sense for her to give up that independence without a fight.

Sure, Mom was slipping and had been for years. But she was still the person who ran her family. There can be challenges, but caring for her now is among the greatest blessings I could have been given. These years will be important to me forever, and I don’t plan to come up short for her.

There is always the delicate balance between deciding what’s best for your mom and dad, and perhaps confusing that with the path that’s easier for you. The two things might not be the same. Always put yourself in their place and ask yourself how you would react. Someday that might not be just an academic exercise.

Carefully decide what must be done in their interest, and why. Share your thoughts with them as much as you can. That will be an evolution for you and them.

Just because she now suffers from dementia, do not expect her too become some soft, pliant victim. She still will fight for herself. She’s your mom, isn’t she?

With my Mom, there was no doubt that resentment was part of the process. We had to take my mother’s car away from her, and she was upset about it for years.

One important thing:  Mom didn’t want to be told what to do. Never did. Never will, I would guess. She wanted to be asked and still does.  Sound familiar?

Sometimes the caregivers we have brought to help her and us will direct my Mom’s activities for the day, not giving her a choice, and she balks at that.

Understand that my Mom is not able to make some decisions for herself, but she wants to have a say. Let her. You want to be smart on her behalf, but there’s no good in becoming a dictator.

Usually she’ll go along with whatever I say as long as I say it respectfully.

I’d say that’s what makes her Mom.

 

Part 5 next: Siblings, little signs and what’s next.

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