Monday, November 14, 2011

giving care

I am back from Monaco where I was visiting my in-laws.  Giving care and attention to those who are aging around me, means so much to me.

My Father-in-law has dementia and while it was not an easy to see him in this state, it was wonderful for me to express how much love I have for him.  I tried to rekindle flames by sharing stories and affection.
At times there was laughter and at times some tears but it was for me a very valuable lesson on life.
Over the years, he has always shown such support and kindness to me and our family.  Giving care to our elders is vital to letting them know just how much they mean to us.  How do you give care to your elders  around you near and far?

22 comments:

LPC said...

Dementia is raising its head in my family too. So, so, so, so hard.

Glamour Drops said...

Something which tugs at the heart of all of us who live away from our family. No good solution! But it is wonderful that you were able to visit him, especially while he still remembered you. Virginia xx

Ann said...

I always have a soft spot for kids and elders even if they are not family...

A little patience, care, and understanding is what they need from us.

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

Sadly my parents do not live nearby and I know we are going to be faced with many challenges in the future. Now they are both in fairly good shape and I try to make several trips a year to visit them. I know I will look back and wonder why I didn't go more often.
Best,
Susan

Summer is a Verb said...

Glad to hear you made it back safe. Maybe not as sound but, I'm certain your visit meant the world to your family abroad...XXOO

The Buzz Blog said...

We're fortunate to have all of our parents nearby so we make it a point to see them at least once a month or more... being around the grandchildren keeps them young at heart! Loved that you brought our candle across the ocean and that your family is enjoying it!
xxoo

VictoriaArt said...

Patricia: You are such a caring person, I cannot imagine you not caring for your elders!
I am always drawn to older people, they touch me on a tender spot, reminding me of my grandmother and older aunts, I have lost already.
Now it's our parents, we are far and it is not easy to see them age from afar!
I am glad you could visit and re-connect, as hard as it may have been under the circumstances.
Glad to have you back!

LindsB said...

Dementia is such an awful disease. You are a wonderful daughter-in-law I'm sure- they are very lucky to have such a caring and loving caretaker like youself!

Diane said...

I have heard that people with Alzheimer's and dementia might do better looking at pictures and things in writing rather than simply listening to a person speaking. I remember a story of a woman visiting her mother, who did not remember her, even when she told her she was her daughter... but that showing her pictures of themselves together finally brought recognition to her mother's face...I wonder if you found that to be true with your father-in-law... So nice for you to make the trip there to visit them -- I'm sure they loved your time there!

the gardener's cottage said...

i could write a book on this subject patricia. my mom suffered from alzheimers for 12 yrs. it was the longest most agonizing illness i can imagine. she is finally at rest now. yes, it is important for us to be there for our parents. there is a gaping hole in our healthcare system regarding alzheimers. it is so sad.

Ideezine said...

PVE,

Sorry to hear that your Father-in-Law has dementia.

I don't know how we learn to live with the aging process except to live in the moment. Hugs, kisses, laughter, and tears help us express through art and appreciate these experiences . They make us who we are living breathing loving beings.

My Dad is in his eighties fully functioning, living in his home for over 40 years and newly widowed (last year). My husband and I do lots of activities (lives about 40 minutes away) with him and talk on the phone every few days. My five sublings plan things with him as well.

We work on his house projects with him and it gives him a sense of accomplishment and for us it's family activities. We are all very lucky to have a chance to be with our elders in any stage of life.

Bette

Formerly known as Frau said...

I'm so happy you had this time with your in laws....it's so precious.

pretty pink tulips said...

Patricia,
I am sure your calming and loving presence was so appreciated by your in-laws.

I find aging is not always an easy process to watch or experience!

I think we should all remember we will be the older ones one day.

xoxo E

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

Well said, and yes the laughter keeps the tears at bay.My mother and I took care of my father who also had dementia, we laughed a Lot. Now my mother and I carry on, helping each other. It is a blessing. pgt

red ticking said...

i am so sorry to hear this news... my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family... and i completely treasure mine... every moment of every day...xx

missed you...

Laura Casey Interiors said...

You are such a gift to him and I know you made him feel so loved. Right now my dad is upstairs reading to my boys and I cherish that more than anything. I hope overall you had a good trip. xo

Zoey H said...

I just shed a tear. You are an inspiration.

http://tictaczo.blogspot.com/

Claudia Lane said...

Hi Patricia, I think it's lovely that you were able to share some wonderful moments with him. It's such a sad topic but one that cannot be ignored, and if anything I think we should talk about it more with our children and give them the opportunity to spend more time with their grandparents if possible and really enjoy each other's company...it's such an amazing and special bond
xo

Emily said...

Dementia is heart breaking; it's very good you and your family were able to make the trip and be there to visit with him.

If anyone could give comfort, it would be you, Patricia. You have a very calming and peaceful effect on people; I can say that I've felt that way just from your blog entries, email communications, and a handful of phone calls! So, I know your father-in-law was blessed to have your presence, if only for a while.

elise said...

" A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children.Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old,the incurable,the helpless are the true goldmines of our culture." -A.J. Heschel
I truly love what you posted,in this you take a very valuable gift.One,to share with the true lessons of life.
Thank you,for reminding me and teaching such a beautiful bittersweet and touching moment.
With very Best Regards,
Elise

Jayne said...

Rivertowns! Loved reading your blog and write-ups. We bought our first home in Sleepy Hollow (then known as Philipse Manor!) Lost my Dad to ALzheimers in February and I agree that spending all the time you can, and saying what you need to now, is so important, because once they are gone, those things can fill your heart where it seems so empty. SO touching to see how you are doing that....the flowers are perfection!

Millie said...

What a lovely post Patricia, written from your heart. MOTH's treasured Uncle Jack suffered from Alzheimer's & had been a keen Rower all his life. Towards the end of his life, MOTH bravely took him out in a boat again & Jack rowed like a star. MOTH said it was one of the most moving experiences of his life, catching a glimpse of the pre- disease Jack on the water.
Millie xx