Recommended thread Compassionate Communication with the Memory Impaired

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Grannie G, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    You can print it off Peter. Hope it helps.

    Logan, I`m really sorry it does not work for you.

    To paraphrase.......
    `You can affect some of the people some of the time,
    You can affect ome of the people all of the time
    But you cannot affect all of the people all of the time. `
  2. Logan

    Logan Registered User

    Nov 1, 2010
    Hi Grannie G,
    It has been working - just that today I must have "lapsed". I have to say that I do feel better for knowing about it. Lx
  3. piedwarbler

    piedwarbler Registered User

    Aug 3, 2010
    South Ribble
    Hi Logan

    I think you're doing amazingly well considering the hostility you are meeting so frequently at the moment. You're only human. Big hug to you :)
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I`m glad it works sometimes Logan.
    We, as carers can`t be expected to do and say the right things all the time either. We do have off days too. We are human, not robots. :)
  5. Andree

    Andree Registered User

    Aug 1, 2010
    My Mum

    Have just read this and couldnt believe the piece about Doctors appointment, "I dont need to go to the doctor mum shrilled the other morning", I did it all wrong, I am learning each and every day. I look after dad as well who is 85 and a degenerative spine disease drive 44 miles round trip each day, sometimes I get very frustrated with mum and then feel bad I got cross. I lost mum when shopping recently, I was distraught, she is 83 and all I could think was she had been abducted, funny now. Thankfully I found her looking for the car in the car park, but I responded like an anxious mother who had just found their child and scolded her, I joked that if she did it again I would get her a harness so I wouldnt lose her, we both laughed but I shouldnd have said it, another lesson learnt.
  6. sunny

    sunny Registered User

    Sep 1, 2006
    Yes it is a tall order and I wonder how many carers adhere to the guidance - the perfect carer (is there one?)

    Perhaps all the day centres and respite centres that "kick out" people who have dementia when they do not act "appropriately" should have a copy of this.
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    #107 Grannie G, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
    I am reading ;

    Hearing the Person with Dementia by Bernie McCarthy.

    A piece jumped off the page.

    Sorry I am unable to quote it as it is Copyright.

    It said although we can walk away from an unpleasant situation or communication, the person with dementia would be less able to.

    As someone who has always advocated walking away to solve a problem and avoid further conflict, I feel like hanging my head in shame. Carers have the wherewithal to walk away. People with dementia often do not.

    What did I leave my husband with when I walked away. Nothing.
  8. Jancis

    Jancis Registered User

    Jun 30, 2010
    But you haven't walked away, you have asked for his care to be shared. You must never ever feel shame.

    I, on the other hand feel shame for walking away from my father when he was at the end stage, I just could not bear to see him suffering, but my mother didn't walk away and I'm afraid I let her take the burden more times than I needed to.

    I must read the book, it sounds interesting.
    Jancis x
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    #109 Grannie G, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
    I`m not talking about walking away by agreeing to residential care. I`m talking about all the times I left him alone in one room while I sat in another room when he lived at home.
    I vowed I wouldn`t feel guilt. What now?
  10. Contrary Mary

    Contrary Mary Registered User

    Jun 11, 2010
    Greater London
    Hello Sylvia

    I remember I think it was you writing on someone else's thread that you would not feel guilt because you had done your very best, and I am confident that that is what you have always done.

    I went for a long overdue check-up with my GP a few days ago, and I also decided to make an appointment to talk about Mum and her medication etc. He used a very telling expression - "you are using your discretion to manage a very difficult situation". I think those words apply to many of us here on TP.

    I will be looking out for the book you mention, it sounds a very interesting read.

  11. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Sylvia, if you had not walked away, taken a time out, sat in the other room, whatever, you would have learned to hate what Dhiren had become and in time possibly hated Dhiren too. Yes, it wasn't his fault, but that does not make the standing for the abuse any easier. Once again, stick the guilt monster back in the closet and realise that for all that we do and try to be, we cannot be the Perfect Carer, he/she does not exist.
  12. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I admit to getting in a bit of a state this morning and was quite upset.

    However Paul came, following his visit to see Dhiren, and was so pleased with how he was, he had thoroughly enjoyed his visit.

    One of the owners was conducting a survey of relatives` level of satisfaction with the home. Paul told him to put down as many positives as he wished, as he had absolutely no complaints and believed Dhiren was in a much better physical state of health than he had been a year ago when he was admitted.

    We are both really surprised even the listing to one side has improved tremendously.

    And I realize Dhiren was not getting the best care at home and my best was not good enough. The care he is getting now is good enough.

    And the guilt has gone.

    Thank you, Jancis, Mary and Maureen for your support. It really was needed and is appreciated. xx
  13. Logan

    Logan Registered User

    Nov 1, 2010
    So sorry that you have been feeling as you have, Sylvia. I do like the words "using my discretion to manage a very difficult situation" and you were indeed in a very difficult situation. Hope you are feeling better this afternoon. You have been very much on my mind today - compassionate communication, and yes it does work sometimes. Lx
  14. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Sylvia, not to tell you how you should feel, but do you not think there were times though when you were the reason for the anger? That is, not really, but Dhiren decided you were and however irrational that might have been, forcing your presence on him would have been crueler than withdrawing? So much of this is about emotions rather than rational thought, particularly for the person with dementia. Let's face it, without dementia, if you are cross with a person you don't want that person hanging around you. And remember all those times you followed Dhiren to keep him safe? You had to do that but he didn't much like it.
  15. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Thanks for trying to make me feel better about myself.

    It`s OK. I thought I was doing well but had a rude awakening today. I`ll live with it because there`s no going back. However I`ve learnt something about myself today which I`m not too happy with.
    I`ll get over it. :)
  16. Christin

    Christin Registered User

    Jun 29, 2009
    Oh Sylvia, I am so sorry to read that you are upset at this. I walked away from FIL too, very often. He would be ranting about all sorts of things, something we had done, or not done, something on the TV. If I stayed and argued, which I did to begin with, I prolonged and deepened his anger. If I walked away and came back with tea and bisuits, I diverted his anger. And I am sure this is what you did too. You allowed Dhiren to move on. Please don't feel negative, put the book away. xx
  17. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    Dear Sylvia,

    People who write books aren't always correct...or don't always have the same experience or perspective as you.

    Better to walk away, IMHO, than to face the conflict and put yourself and your loved one at risk.

    As a carer 24/7 you were under extreme stress.

    This book sounds as though it's advocating a very idealistic way of dealing with dementia. Fine if you're not living with it ad infinitum.

    I always thought you coped better than well with a very difficult situation.

    Love xx
  18. tillykate

    tillykate Registered User

    Feb 27, 2011
    Thank you for posting that, I am new on this site and its really helped, actually its made me cry... but given me food for thought.
  19. Logan

    Logan Registered User

    Nov 1, 2010
    We do have to walk away some times and it is like that those "times" will be ever increasing. When I do that I am told that I am not wanting to stay and "discuss". Sylvia, please take care of You and have a peaceful night's sleep. Lx
  20. JPG1

    JPG1 Account Closed

    Jul 16, 2008
    There's no going back on compassion

    Sylvia, for what it's worth ....

    Compassion in my own personal dictionary means having an awareness of someone else's problems and also a 'deeply-felt' feeling for someone else's suffering, alongside a wish to do the best you can to help them through 'whatever'. Without judgement, without laying blame on the shoulders of anyone involved, or in the heart of anybody else, and without dumping that thing called - by some - the g.m. (Work it out for yourself - and I know you will! Because you don't believe in the g.m - and neither do I.)

    There's no going back on compassion, that's for sure. You've either got it, felt it and continue to get it and feel it ..... or else you may never have acquired that basic skill, that compassionate talent.

    It is impossible to have lived with someone you have loved for years and years who has a seriously health-and-life-compromising condition unless you have that inner strength of compassionate care. (With or without a connection to dementia, and, as some of you know and have also lived through, there are other seriously life-compromising conditions of life and health that many of us so-called carers of people with dementia - past, present and probably future - have also had to live with for decades, albeit not in our dementia-connected people.)

    For what it's worth ... stick your head up high and say that you did the best you could find a way to do at the time, then .... and discard any queries that come later as to whether you could have done it all differently.

    Some birds walk or hop away from something they are uncomfortable with; other birds fly away off into the distance, never to be seen again. The bird that hops away often hops back again, just to make sure all is well - showing compassion. The bird that flies away seldom checks back to see whether all is well is a different kind of bird.

    As I have never denied, I don't do hugs and cuddles and kisses - in a virtual world - but compassion comes in all shapes and sizes, and also via a virtual world, even though it may not come with hugs, cuddles and kisses.


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