For anyone who has a loved one in a memory care facility, you may have been asked if you were coming back tomorrow to visit. For me, I visited the same time each day. I would bring the newspaper and we would watch the stock market together and I would learn about the DOW and NASDAQ and watch the ticker roll across the screen at the bottom of the TV. ( I kept those stock market notes.)
This became a daily ritual for me and I wanted to keep the same time of day to have a routine and balance for this person. It helped in the process of transition but for me, this was hard, sad, grueling and totally wore me out. It’s one thing to see your loved one with Dementia but to witness others in the same place all with different levels of decline is so sad and it wore me out emotionally. I always say I am sliding down a slide of EXHAUSTION.
My best advice is to keep going back to visit and get involved in the care of your loved one. YOU are their advocate and the visits help them adjust and have someone to look forward to visiting each day. It may break your heart when asked “Are you coming back tomorrow?” But say YES and do what you can to continue your visits. Days will get busier but it’s the sweet memories you will have to cherish as the disease progresses.
For anyone reading this I hope you find something that resonates with YOU. Remember you are NOT alone even though you may feel alone each and every day. Find the one friend you trust the most and talk to them about how you feel. Read a book of inspiring quotes or attend a caregiver meeting to help. Finding the one or two things to do for yourself is crucial to getting through the long and hard days. For me, it was getting up way before dawn to see the sunrise ( I have been an early riser since high school and loved the quiet time to read and get my thoughts together). Take a moment to find something to do each day for yourself. It may be putting on makeup, having a piece of cake, taking a long walk, petting a dog, watching tv, or just taking a nap.
As you care for yourself when asked, “Are you coming back tomorrow?” won’t be as hard. Caregivers are doing, “God’s work” and blessing others with their sacrifice, love, compassion, and caring.
They may NEVER remember what you said, but HOW you made them FEEL.