Thanks to the contacts app on my phone, I know very few phone numbers. But not everyone enjoys the convenience of a contact list with the caller’s photo attached. My husband remembers everyone’s phone number, so he answers calls based on number recognition. Granted, that doesn’t always work, but he refuses to use an app to identify callers. No matter how crazy I think it is, that is his choice.
And everyone has their way of doing things, no matter what the age. It is more prevalent in the elderly because time has turned lifetime practices into rock-solid habits. As a caregiver, we may struggle with trying to get a loved one to do something we think could be done better another way. Yet, if their system is not harmful, we would be better off letting them follow Frank Sinatra’s mantra, “I did it my way.” An Alzheimer’s patient, for example, may only want to do what is familiar, regardless of something new we may want to introduce to them. But for them especially, familiarity is crucial. Loved ones with other illnesses may live by patterns and habits that sustain them.
Energy spent trying to make others follow our way of thinking – usually so that life will be easier for us, actually causes us more frustration. So, I try to smile when my husband picks up his ringing phone, looks at the number, and wonders out loud, “Who is this?” Yes, life could be easier for him with a contact app. But life would also be easier for me if I didn’t let his system bother me. It’s his phone anyway, so I accept that he is just singing along with Sinatra.