being with

… my response to someone asking how she should respond to her mother suffering from dementia asking ‘when can we go home’ even though she has lived in her present house for many years:  The changes of the mind with dementia are bewildering and can even be frightening. From what you are sharing, I’d like to reply with my 2ps worth… along the lines – with people not suffering from dementia, when dying, symbolic language can often be recognised..And I think and feel it is important to say yes to that from the heart if one can. I knew an old spinster once who when dying with a great beam of a smile told me she was getting married now. I congratulated her. An older nun bedridden in the last stage of cancer said ‘I am getting well again’ – I nodded with all my heart as she looked at me expectantly. So how do you translate that into dealing with your mum? I don’t know how you will do it. All I can think of is to say: “I’d love to take you home mum, let’s first…” and then go on to whatever is possible to do, give her a foot massage, ask her to dry and put away the dishes, cut some onions or fold laundry… or listen to music from her youth… whatever is closest to ‘home’ that springs to mind…

~ by Barbara S on June 11, 2020.

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