Thursday, 23 October 2014

UBC Challege - Day 23 - Guess who's Coming to Dinner? - Tip for Carers

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

He came in and sidled his way into our home without making a sound, our weekly get-together's interrupted, the sound of children's laughter and mum telling them to get their feet off the sofa. 

In the beginning it was those little things that would make you stop and wonder, shuddering at the thought, we relaxed, everyone misplaces things don't they?   The unwanted visitor waited, he sat down and ever so quietly made himself comfortable as he gazed at mum and plotted his moves, feet now under the table, he had found a new home.

He proceeded to gouge his way through her thoughts, and her memories, each day feasting on the laughter of her yesterdays.  He drank up her conversations and put up his feet on her hopes and our dreams of tomorrow.  Her desires faded, the days turned into months and then to years, she fought back, tried to give him her marching orders, but always taking, he never put back things as he found them, wandering in her mind from room to room taking those abilities learnt from childhood.  

He snatched the names of her children and memories of our dad.  It had been 24 years since he was taken from us - the stories she used to tell....  'Mum, can you tell us the story of when you met, I so long to hear you share the excitement of meeting him, with a swing in your step and laughter in your voice......mum - do you still remember?

Finding it difficult to walk, she didn't want this, to be left feeling that she is a burden - how long will they care? Not knowing why you can't understand, listening as if behind a thickened glass door that won't break'.  Sometimes I'll admit and cry out 'I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE',  I am only human, you would too.

He sits in the corner, wiping his mouth with his sleeve thinking about his next course, the rest of her speech looks tasty, already had some for his starter, yet he is still not satisfied, it is not enough, when will it be enough?

Dementia is the unwanted guest in our house, the gatecrasher, giving us no choice in the matter.  We have all been affected and relate to it in different ways, trying to come together as a family to support the one we loved and make her life the best it can be, despite the situation.

For now, recognise your circumstances for what they are, make room for changes that will take place and celebrate the life you have before you.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Quote Wednesday - Lister Sinclair

Art pulls a community together, art makes you feel differently, that's what artists are doing all the time, shifting and changing the way you see life....Lister Sinclair

In thinking about the impact that we can make on our communities, think about one thing that will take you out of your comfort zone every week.

Each Quote Wednesday I share a quote with a photograph that I have taken. Quotes can be so inspiring and uplifting it is a good idea to meditate on the words and make a point of saying something encouraging about your life!  Do something great!  

Join me next week for the next inspiring quote and image. Blessings

UBC - Day 22 - Caring Faith - Tips for Carers


Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Challenge for today, we are over half way through and I hope that some of the tips that I have shared have been helpful to you.


My faith, my belief has been the one thing that is constant in my life, it is the thing that lifts me up when I am down, and ministers to me when I cannot see a way.  Because of my faith and my spiritual walk I find the strength to do what I do today.  

When I feel that there is no hope, my faith and belief in God reminds me that  God not only loves me for who I am but he gives me strength when I have had a difficult time with mum and she doesn't want to go to bed to sleep.  He reminds me that when I was ill mum would stay up with me and tend to my needs.  When mum won't eat and I get frustrated cause of the effort it takes God reminds me to let go of the emotional ties to food that I have and when mum is ready to eat she will.

My faith helped me to see mums dementia from her perspective, to constantly ask myself how she must be feeling and to give her space and time to express what she needs and to challenge myself.  When I work to her time there is less need to get stressed about how long it takes or whether or not she wants to do something.

I learnt through faith to be patient, to love unconditionally to be humble, dementia and its affects on lives has humbled me.  It has affected all of our lives in one way or another and I don't take my life for granted and i don't take her life for granted.  Mum can still live a full of grace, peace joy and love.

My faith reminds me that I have to make the most of everything that mum can do and how she is feeling. She still feels emotions though not always able to express how she  is feeling her life is precious in Gods eyes.  As I spend time in his word I am reminded that he gives me strength each and every day.  He will never leave or forsake me.

Art Journal Page
For now, think about your spiritual walk, we do not go through this alone and God will guide you through if you let him.  He will walk by your side in the good times and carry and comfort you in the hard times.  How has your faith comforted you?

You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

UBC - Day 21 - Once a Man, Twice and Child - Tips for Carers

Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Challenge, for today.

Once a Man and Twice a Child

I never understood the saying until my dad got ill.  He had become bed-bound and needed me to help him change his clothes.  He was embarrassed and was apologetic, it was awkward, and at the time I tried to reassure him that it was alright.  He was my dad, and he needed my help, no questions asked, but I could never imagine myself doing this on a regular basis. 

Kenneth Lloyd Trought - A shining star

I wasn't around much for mum when she looked after dad and for many years after his death I surrounded myself with guilt of what I could and should have done.  But at the end of the day the guilt will only spin you round in circles and immobilize you, which doesn't help anyone, but I know how hard it is to shake.  Many find themselves in the role of a carer quite by chance, there is no else to take up the role, and it is here more than ever that we have to give a thought to how we would want to be treated if ever we found ourselves in the role of the cared for.

So many memories...
I am looking after my mum whilst my heart yearns for a mothers wisdom and advice, yet it is often met with silence, that is the hardest thing to deal with sometimes.  I think back to the care and nurturing that she gave unconditionally to us as children, and her gentle nature.  Not everyone has the love of a nurturing parent that I know, and motherhood is not an easy road to walk down.  

I care for her now as if she is my child, anticipating her needs and emotions as best I can.  There is no room for guilt about what she cannot do or my perceived limitations as her daughter, though I am not saying that from time to time the thought does run through my mind.  I remind myself that if the tables were turned she would do the same for me.

For now, recognise that you can only do your best in the situation, don't beat yourself up but find ways to celebrate their life and what they can do today.

You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.

Monday, 20 October 2014

UBC - Day 20 - Being Practical - Tips for Carers

Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Challenge for today.  Rome wasn't built in a day and some times it can take a while to sort out and organise your own household, let alone another, so today's tip is about being practical.  


Being a carer brings with it a lot of emotional stuff, but to deal with the situation you are going to have to look at what you do and see it from a practical side, and get what needs to be done first then think about how it makes you feel. Sometimes you need to work with what you have as very often the thing that we think we need is right in front of our faces.  No one can be on call 24 hours a day, so if you can create some systems and schedules it will help you keep a track of things. 

Asking for Help

There is only so much you can do, so asking for help is something that you need to get used to.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is the thing that can enable you to handle your role in a more effective way, and keep you sane at the same time.  I found what helped me was having set things that could be done depending on the situation, grouping activities that could be done at one time, this also called me to be flexible as nothing was set in stone.  I try and think about what I need to do and what needs to be done, if you try and do too much you will burn yourself out.


Saving time

I try and make sure that I can have enough things in place and when I am feeling full of energy I can do more, but when I am tired, I can make adjustments as I go on.  If you have access to a computer you can try and automate things that you need to do like paying bills, prescriptions, even doing some of the heavy shopping online, and try and save some much needed time.   

It is important to keep the one that you are caring for as active and mobile as possible, this enables them to remain independent.  You might find that doing things yourself might be quicker, but if you let them get involved it not only impacts on their self esteem, and this will help you if they feel that they are contributing.  My aim with my mum is to keep her as mobile and active as possible and constantly encourage her to move about where she can, to exercise dispute having to use a wheel chair, keeping her stimulated and engaged helps me in the long run because it slows down the decline and in turn keeps her as independent as possible.

For now try and identify the regular things that you do that can be organised to take up less time, don't feel bad about asking for help, the answer could be 'yes' or you can organise some of the repetitive activities so it fits into a workable schedule.

You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.
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