When it comes to visiting Mom, I like the normal days, where my only expectation is to “connect” with my mom. The days I don’t like are holidays: birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Family Day – they all remind me of better times. I feel so overwhelmed by the Mom I have lost, that I don’t have the energy to “find” the Mom who is left behind.
On these occasions I enlist my family members or friends to come with me. I let them know I’m feeling low and I say, “I need you with me so I can face this without ruining it for Mom.” Usually, that is just enough to push me past the tough part and enjoy the visit.
Another thing is keeping it simple. The less elaborate the plans, the less deep the disappointment when she is not having a good day or doesn’t respond the way I had hope she would
Sharon Osvald, caregiver
Days like Family Day can be difficult. You never know whether your friend or family member is going to have a good or bad day. Regardless of what you have planned, following these tips can help improve communication for any visit:
- Introduce yourself, even if it feels awkward.
- Use humour and smile.
- Don’t argue.
- Go at her pace.
- Use visual cues and gestures for direction.
- Accept inappropriate answers or nonsense words. Don’t correct his ideas.
- Don’t ask: “Don’t you remember?
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