Friday, October 31, 2014
Never ask pointed questions
Grandma constantly worried about all the meetings she was in charge of. She was always making sure everyone was organized and getting their work done. I didn't ask her who is coming to the meeting or what it was about, where was it located? etc. She was perfectly happy having her very busy productive life without us coming in and letting her know it is all in her mind. Instead we role-played. We took on the responsibility of telling her that we would get the others together and everything would be taken care of. Play along, but do not patronize!
They will react to sarcasm, rolling of the eyes, laughing etc. Never make them feel foolish. I guess it is the basic "do unto others as you would like them to do unto you" philosophy.
One thing we never told grandma is that she has short-term memory loss. What would the point of that be? Very shortly, within a few minutes, sometimes seconds, she wouldn't remember anyway and it would only have caused her distress, which is a reaction that her body did remember. Remember the mind may lack memory but the body doesn't. The body stores all the feelings whether they are positive or negative. It remembers. They react to energy. They instinctively know whether they are wanted or unwanted.
My grandfather had died twenty years before yet grandma still talked to him, called for him and talked about him as though he was still alive. In her mind he was and it comforted her. Do you know how devastating it would be hearing ten times a day. "Grandma, Grandpa died a long time ago." She would feel enormous sadness and in ten seconds not know why she felt so sad. She held emotion not memory.