Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Romans 3:31
Happy Hump Day friends and cornbread family. 🙂 Today will be another atypical, catch-all piece on our little investigative series on what we can do for friends and family helping someone/many with the disease. There are many specific things that can be and need to be done, but I still feel compelled to beat this drum a little more, so forgive me for the redundancy.
So one more time before we switch back to giving more specific Who, What, Where, Why, and When items?
What can you do?
Be there for your neighbor who seems to have not been out much lately. Early-to mid-stage dementia lends itself to social isolation, which actually worsens the symptoms of the condition. It makes sense that we, as humans, need fellowship and we crave acceptance, so when someone falls off the grid, find out why and help them. Be there.
Be there for friends and family in nursing homes….once we can again. 🙁 Visit. Donate time. Ask the staff who could use a smile or a kind word. Develop relationships with the residents, the staff, the support structures…and be there.
Be there for the one you know that seems to have this caregiving all figured out. You know the one…the man/woman that is confident. The one who, perhaps, blogs or journals. Be there for the one who has a support structure of loving friends and family because things aren’t always as they seem.
Be there for someone who faces dementia with NOBODY. This is a huge category…an ocean of lonely messages in bottles. Did you know that you can be a hero in this way. You can provide a vital piece of the puzzle in someone’s will to live. Be there even when nobody else is. Play some music. Read a book. Share life. 🙂
Be there for nurses and doctors who treat our community day-in and day-out. This exhausted community serves our folks in a way that leaves them spent every day. They seldom are staffed enough, only get training when there is someone to cover their time, and simply must have a terrible time separating work life from home life due to emotional anguish. A NIH study found that burnout is extremely common. One article states that this “burnout can be described as a syndrome of three facets: emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and reduced personal accomplishment. Emotional exhaustion occurs when the level of emotional resources becomes depleted such that individuals feel unable to give anymore of themselves emotionally. Depersonalization describes feelings of cynicism towards clients, whilst reduced personal accomplishment refers to forming a negative evaluation of one’s work ability (2). Whilst burnout impacts negatively upon staff members, research has suggested that quality of care is impacted, with levels of patient satisfaction lower in hospitals where nurses experience high levels of burnout (3). Furthermore, burnout in nursing has been associated with poor patient outcomes (e.g., 4). It is reported that nursing and residential homes represent one of the largest and most rapidly growing areas to provide care for the elderly (5), as such a greater knowledge of burnout of staff within these settings is important in terms of stress prevention, health promotion and indeed patient care.” Read the article linked here…these folks are tired and sad, and spent and need our love and support. Bring them food (or gift cards). Send them postcards of encouragement. Pray for them and with them. Thank them. Empathize with them…they see folks live and die daily. They cannot distance themselves to the point of not caring and still work where they work. Ask administrators what you can do…and do it. Be there.
Be there for your legislators. They are HAMMERED with money requests. Everyone’s cause has to have priority. Many of them have family struggling with dementia. They fear the perception that they are showing favoritism just because their loved one struggles, then they feel guilty for not doing more. Even though the disease is not blue or red, it is purple, politics rears its ugly head and wears on these servants. Be there for them. Encourage them, all the while showing empathy. Show them, for example, how providing respite funds to help someone age in their own home actually SAVES money when compared to using Medicaid to pay a nursing home. Be there…
Be there at funerals and beyond. I know it will be very hard on me when my mom and uncle pass away. I get it. I am ready for it because each of them are believers and I know they will be in heaven. However, I will probably take a week off of writing and social media to exhale. However, when a sufficient time has passed, I will be back and will help all the more. I am needed and you are needed even more than ever after you see your loved one gain his/her wings. Experiencing that gives you a unique perspective that you can use to bring God Glory and help others. Jump back on the horse and get to work being there… How long after depends on you and where you are…but please do it. Be there again.
Be there friend. Be their friend. Be their “there” friend.
Mom update: My next visit is tomorrow morning. I get 15 minutes, 13 of which mom will likely be in and out of Slumbersville. I will just go with the firm belief that she is aware I am there and is happier for it. It isn’t “being there” as much as I would choose, but it is (slightly) better than being locked completely out. She sleeps 20-22 hours a day, is happy and not in pain…so things could be worse. I look forward to a big hug tomorrow. 🙂 We simply need to render this article moot and finally #EndALZ .
Runnin’ Til I’m Purple update- The total is at $1602+ a check donation of $100 and some more in the Alz.org Longest Day bucket. The shirts are selling well and I hope they continue. For every 24 shirts we sell the price goes down and the fundraiser profits a higher amount per shirt. 🙂 Here is the link if you haven’t pre-ordered a shirt:
I would love to get to $3500 by the end of April on an overall goal of $5280. The car wash starts April 1st…tomorrow….and lasts all month!!! If you come to Springfield, Missouri and need a car wash, swing by either Blue Iguana Car Wash and insert code “1735” in their little machine and the fundraiser will automatically get 25% of how much your wash costs. 🙂 My old, junky cars don’t often get a car wash, but they will this coming month, you can bet on that. 🙂 Here is their brochure:
Thank you all for being there. 🙂