Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. –James 1:17
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Wednesday has crept its way in like a cold breeze up my pant leg while I run. This week….oh, my…this week. (Exhaling)That is all I want to say. We’ll get there. 🙂
I have only got to see mom one day this week and will see her again tonight, then it will be a few more days. Fortunately, my step-dad gets to see her daily. I get reports daily from him and/or I call hospice and/or the local nurses. Yup…we are “that guy”. You can typically set a clock by the fact that one of us will be around…
So much importance to consistency in dementia. Whether it is setting a routine, AND STICKING BY IT, in in-home caregiving, or setting visiting times in a nursing home, our loved ones thrive on consistency and unthrive (…dethrive?!…anti-thrive…I don’t know…stinkin’ language….. 🙁 ) on the lack of the same. I have said it before and I believe science, in a roundabout way, backs it up…our brain likes the familiar very much. We drive the same way to work, sleep on the same side of the bed, eat the same thing (until the brilliant marketing folks discontinue it. When we find out they discontinue it, we eat a little more of it until it is gone…then forget about it and their little marketing rear ends and shop elsewhere…). We have a nice brain neuron pathway set up that requires nothing much beyond autopilot to accomplish…and we thrive. We even have some time and space for 1980s song lyrics or memories of Netflix episodes gone by. If an evolutionary worldview is your bang, you also note that a comfy brain gives it a competitive advantage over a stressed brain when fighting off prey or peril that seems to permeate everything. Regardless, we have to agree, we like comfy brain just fine.
Why does this matter? The demented brain is in Red Alert mode! Everything is a struggle, consciously or otherwise, and it clings to the familiar. It NEEDS the familiar.
I wonder sometimes how mom felt about the Ozarks’ weather a few years ago when she was grasping at ropes of sand trying to find somewhere safe? I hate thinking about it, frankly, because I hate mom struggling even a little, needless to say mightily like then. It crushes my heart. But I was thinking about just a typical weather week like this one, rewound, say, 3 years ago in her mind. Here is our KY3 forecast:
Here it is in my equally favorite KOLR10:
I like both news stations in town very much, and I am not just saying that because they let me on often to shout about dementia from their towers. In this case, for this example, the latter picture better exemplifies my point. A flat line would be MUCH easier on the brain. However, we get the high 60s, then snow, then ice, then very cold, the luke warm then darn near hot then cold again. It wouldn’t be unthinkable to sneak in some tornadoes too…anytime you see wild swings, there is a chance. There is also a chance for those with dementia to struggle with this change….and I hate it for them. 🙁
So we march on and try to smooth out the peaks and valleys as best we can and hope to find a nice rut in which to travel…
Thank you friends for your hard work in caregiving. Your loved one appreciates it more than the disease will let them express. I feel the same.