The following excerpt was written many years ago. It is one of the lessons I learned while caring for my mother during her journey with Alzheimer’s:
This is more about her than it is about me. I try to imagine what it would be like to not be able to remember the things I need to know or to lose the ability to process information quickly. Mom is losing a valuable part of herself. So, my care for her has to encourage her and see how she is feeling in all of this. I have to allow her to vent when she needs to and not become bossy with her. I have to support Mom in a way that keeps her dignity intact.
At the time this was written, I was not fully aware of how many cognitive abilities my mother would lose. I didn’t know then that her ability to communicate would be reduced to incoherent speech. But it was still important that I would try to help her maintain her dignity. As I interact now with other loved ones or acquaintances with various illnesses, I hope that the lessons I have learned as a caregiver will carry over to help me be a blessing to them.