Preparing The Family For Thanksgiving
Senior Life Journeys Presents Carol Howls. Let's talk dementia. A podcast designed to help caregivers find knowledge power hope and smiles lyles in their dementia caregiving journey welcome to let's talk dementia. Here's your host bestselling author Carol. Hello and welcome back to. Let's talk the Ninja. I am here how we rose internationally. Certified Dementia Practitioner and author of Amazon bestselling booklets dementia and whole bunch of other books. You can check them out on our website. Www Dot let's talk dementia Dot Org. Well today. I wanted talk with you about Thanksgiving. We are less than two weeks or two weeks away. Whatever it is from Thanksgiving in? It's a great time. I am a lot of family gatherings lot of memories from the past. A lot of expectations. a lot of food and after the event we will realize that event did not go quite like we had in our mind it was not a Norman Rockwell. Seen it never has been at my house or even growing going up the Food might not have settled is good and our loved one with dementia well. They didn't respond quite like we thought they would. So let's Kinda on a plant that in advance what you say. Well this will be my first Thanksgiving without Momma. She went to heaven on May thirty first so that will be different for me. But that's okay because she's not missing me as she. She is celebrating in heaven. And I'm going to be celebrating here. That she is there. But it will be different and it will be different for you In your loved one because if you're caregiving for some dementia. They are most likely different than they were. Last year Their abilities have changed. Disabilities have increased. Their need for you to be more attentive is growing and we need to think about how that might mine affect your holiday. The first thing you need to think about is who is coming. Who is coming to your house or are you taking your loved one to their house okay? Let's talk about that last point for I are you taking your loved one to their house. all right now. That's going to depend on where your loved. One is in their journey. If there earlier mid-stage great you know piling the car go be prepared maybe to stop more often allow risk time and be prepared to answer the same question in here the same story story repeatedly. But that's okay because the day's GonNa come. You're not able to hear that so this okay but if you're looking at maybe even mid stage too late stage H.. Depending on where in the journey they are in the type of dementia. They have what their cognitive levels are are. Not How easy it is is for them to socialize and how easy it is for them to be comfortable somebody else's house or another location. Then you might need to rethink that plant so if you're having folks to your house There are things we need to do there to prepare for our loved ones for that visit. So okay we're GONNA Hop in the car. And we're GONNA drive two hours with someone with advanced dementia probably would not do that. I just don't think I I would put my loved one or myself through that two hours in the car of them. Not Recognizing anything because why will the scenery's changing quite rapidly piddly And they're totally unclear where they're going in. There probably not very happy about it. So that's your first problem. Then you get there and you're going into someone someone else's home supposedly maybe a restaurant but probably someone's home and again scenery. They're not familiar with. They don't recognize the house. They don't I know where the bathroom is. They're confused about why they're there. You might tell them repeatedly. We've come to have Thanksgiving with your oldest daughter and they're not gonNA remember that 'cause remember you to remember. They can't remember that part of their brain hippocampus which allows him to access. This current memories is very damaged. They cannot remember so they're in a state of confusion. I said before if you kind of wonder or experience or think about what dementia is lie as you sit and listen to this show or watch this show I want you to pretend that someone got you on a plane and Blindfolded you got you on a plane took you to a country that you've never been to before for me that would be most countries. 'cause I just don't travel but suppose I was dropped opt Japan where I speak Japanese. I have no one in the entire country that I know. I do not know how to get from where I am to anywhere I might. I WanNa be and the blindfold comes off and they say care all you need to go to these six places. I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it. I couldn't communicate with anybody. I couldn't find my way around. It would be very very scary. Well that's Sorta what dementia feels like for your loved one so you're taking them from their place of comfort the house they are in every day or this is the memory care or wherever to some other place in. It's very uncomfortable. So you got to think about that. But if if they're able to go and it's right that that travelling in that inner change between one one location other is still something they can handle in their journey. Then let's let's go but let's prepare our folks to know where mom is says in her dementia journey. It may have been a year since they saw her. Maybe it was last is Thanksgiving or last Christmas and they are expecting her to be like she was then and she may not be in. You need to ahead of time. You have in phone calls or emails or Heaven Forbid we should ride a ladder And get that information out. This is where mom is now. She probably won't recognize denies you She may not eat. Well she may need to take a nap just to Four Warrant Your folks that this is going on so so you get the to the new location. Please be aware that your loved one Might be a little overwhelmed and just the whole change of atmosphere is going to be overwhelming to them now. This is true even if folks are coming to the home that they're used to being in having all all these people in a little bit overwhelming. And you know this you love for your family to come for Thanksgiving but what do you love next when they leave uh-huh because you're not used Avin fifty nine people in your house. All of them want to eat at the same time is a little overwhelming for units definitely overwhelming for votes with dementia. So no matter where we are if we're at their home or where they live and we're taking their someone taking them somewhere. We WanNa make sure that there is a quiet spot for them so that after an hour hour and a half where you can judge it you pay attention to that person. Listen you realize. They're a little bit overwhelmed. I think I'm going to take him. Maybe let them take nap. And don't take them into the bedroom that they've never been to before and helping to lie down down and turn off the light leave. There might be frightened because they don't know where they are. What's going on again? Remember your Japan and you don't know anything you've never been to Japan before you might just want to sit there with them and If they WANNA talk talk or maybe they just want you to put on some soothing music and maybe sing quietly in the background or maybe they just want you to sit by the bed or lie on the bed with them and hold their hand so they feel comfortable and they can relax and then maybe once they doze off if you want to slide out and go have some conversation. That'll be fine but be aware when they wake up. They're not GonNa know where they are. So you've got to constantly be checking on them in making sure that they are okay with what's going on but allow that quiet space. Make sure that your family knows that you are going to to fix MOMS played in a way that will be acceptable for her brain. You know they may come in and load up one of everything that's been fixed in their pike. Looks it's a little bit like Mount Everest in you're gonNA fix moms play with maybe two or three bites of three or four things in. That's all or maybe just three everything's or maybe just one thing it depends on where your loved one is in their journey that you want to keep things simple but if there's a plate with a whole a bunch of things on it and they look at it is just overwhelming so there's just Turkey and it's cut up in little pieces. They can eat with their fingers. That's a thumbs up when they've finished the Turkey may be then we want to add green beans But you can judge how many items to put on the plight with your log on but you never wanna load their play it. It is overwhelming to the brain and the brain looks at. It doesn't know which direction to go so you know what we do. We pull back and we don't eat and you won't people to enjoy join meals. I mean this is something we do we eat together. It is part of every society. We always eat together when we can and especially at Thanksgiving or holidays. Today's or birthdays. Whatever so let your folks? No I'M GONNA fix MOMS Pie. I know what she likes. And I'm going to put on her plate. The amounts that will appeal appealed to her so that potentially she will eat. I just want you to know this in advance and then another thing you might want to do is to help those who are coming to visit knowhow to respond and interact with mom. Should they call her by her name. How do they go and get conversation going? And that's what we're GonNa talk about tomorrow. 'cause I can tell you for quite a while I didn't call my Mama Mama a powder veer gene and there was a very good reason for that and we're talk about that tomorrow excuse me and How to physically interact and ask our loved ones in guest interact with our votes with dementia? That will make Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or whatever were your holiday might be a more joyful and wonderful occasion and I look forward to that. So I'll see you tomorrow and we're GONNA talk Thanksgiving little bit early because I want. Oh you to be prepared in just in case you think you need to bring Turkey to my house now. I don't eat Turkey. Tofu Turkey now. That would be good to my. You should think about that for me. You guys have a great day bye bye. Let's talk. 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Dementia it's available on Amazon paperback and kindle versions be sure to like let's talk dementia on facebook and leave us a kind word of review on itunes remember member knowledge brings power power brings hope hope bring smiles and we all need more smiles. Thanks for joining us today. And we'll be right right here when you come back to. Let's talk dementia.