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Medicine for the Soul - A Caregiverís Guide.../
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Medicine for the Soul- A Caregiverís Guide
to a Spiritual Relationship
Use your sense of humor. Recall past
funny experiences with them and encourage laughter. When
my mother first moved into her new home, a gentleman
pursued her. He is now in a wheelchair; she has
dementia. When I saw him in the lobby, I asked her if
that was the man who was running after her. She smiled
and said, "Run, he can't even walk!" We laughed; she
felt so smart. We connected.
Don't negate their fears by saying
"Everyone forgets sometimes." They know at some level
that their level of forgetting isn't the norm. I laugh
with my mother and tell her that her memory is lousy.
She laughs too, and then tells me how scared she is. We
hug and I tell her that our family will always take care
Itís not easy or simple, but somehow, it
is easy and simple. I grow and learn every day. I
know that the real person inside needs to be stroked,
and accepted and loved. Sing old songs, play music,
play. Speak from your heart, not your mind. Tell them
all the good things you remember. Touch, hug, rub their
arm and brush their hair. We forget that old people do
not get physically touched in loving ways very often.
Let them feel the human connection. That's how our
sprits connect, too.
And I myself am not getting any younger.
I think I will send this letter to my sons.
Myrna Wolf is President of Compassionate
Companions, Inc., an agency specializing is serving the
non-medical needs of the older adults and their
families. She is a respected caregiver, trainer,
and public speaker.