I’m reusing the words Remember Me shared with me because in the cycle of grief and guilt caregivers seem to float through endlessly, hindsight is truly a luxury. We often saw things that should have been a warning sign, but didn’t recognize the significance. We may have been sure something was wrong, but didn’t know how to proceed. We tried to help when we saw things failing, but my parents were not interested in the help and usually appalled at the suggestion it was needed.
I finally started to understand how much the independence meant to them when we had to come in to help because they were unable to manage any longer. Because of the dementia, I wonder if my parents just never recognized, understood, or believed that they were failing to manage in their day-to-day lives. Dementia is torturous in so many ways to both the individual and their loved ones.
I’m a huge advocate of goal-setting and one of the things Remember Me recently posted was a list of aspirations to develop a life alongside being a Care Partner. As I struggle to direct the ever-changing team in place to help care for mom, I think coming up with a similar list will do me and mom a lot of good. Encouraged.