I work with a client who has some cognitive impairment and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. After we work on bill payments and review his accounts, I take the mail to the post office. Well, I took two birthday cards for his daughter, promised to put stamps on them, and mailed then without stamps!
I called him and told him what I had done and suggested a solution. I would pick him up to go get new cards, then fed-ex them to they arrived on time. He chuckled at me and and told me not to worry about it.
I gotta say, I was sick about it. I didn’t want his daughter to be disappointed or think he forgot her birthday. Watching a loved one change is so difficult, and I didn’t want her to think he didn’t remember her birthday, or was to a point that he couldn’t get off a card.
It’s the small things that sustain us and make a difference. I needed to let him, and his daughter know it was my failing.
But, there are some issues when honesty hurts. When my parent’s were fighting me and my siblings because they felt like they were doing fine, I thought getting different doctor’s to confirm their diagnosis might help. I sat with them through three different doctor’s telling them they had vascular dementia (mom), and Alzheimer’s (dad). I finally realized it didn’t matter what the diagnosis was, I needed to figure out how to help them and the truth of the matter was inconsequential.
The journey to care for a loved one is tough and will challenge you in ways you never imagined. I hope you will take the time to be kind to yourself and know that you will make the best decision you can with the information you have when it needs to be made. When will what you know or honesty hurt and when will it help is a lesson I still keep trying to master. Confessed.