1. Do not look at me when you see drool sliding down my chin, unnoticed by
me. Instead of turning up your nose, why not get a tissue and gently wipe my
chin for me. (I would for you, if the roles were reversed.)
2. If I pretend I know what you are talking about and I should give you the
answer for what I heard, do not laugh. Just hold my hand, and 'look me in the
eyes," and speak, just a mite louder. My ears are old and tinny and sounds do
not 'resound' as they once did.
3. Do not be afraid of walking with me as I stagger like a drunken person. Just
hold my arm as you would steady a buddy when walking. Ask" Can I help you back
to your room? I will gladly lead you."
4. If I should get confused about my surroundings and look about in mistrust or
fear, you can ease the tension if you just reassure me. Let me know which
direction to go. You could even walk with me until I recognize my own
surroundings. (This does not happen too often, but just know it scares me. When
I do not know where I am, I get unsure at times.) Just know that I feel
embarrassed. If you simply agree with me, instead of setting me straight on
matters, gently show me.
5. Should I drop food on myself when I eat (or if it hangs on my face, even if I
spill) just know I meant for it to go in my mouth. Do not be afraid to smile a
sweet smile at me and use my napkin on me, in a casual manner. Do this for me.
(I would do this for you if the roles were reversed.)
6. Remember, you can see me, and you are not a mirror. You are the one who sees
the misplaced food, the unbuttoned blouse. Know that I would not let it stay
that way. (Do not make a big production of; straightening up what is wrong.)
7. When you bring something for me to sign, or to read, just know if you simply
'tell me' the contents of the letter or whatever, it will suffice, rather than
getting me to try to comprehend it. Explain it in as few words as possible.
8. Will you be good enough to ask me if there is some little thing that I need
from the store, or elsewhere? It makes me feel important when someone thinks to
bring something to me, on the next visit, whether you forget it or not.
9. If you get brave enough, it would be nice for you to invite me out to eat
lunch with you. Remember, a life-care home is not a prison. It is 'my home'
where I simply have caregivers who help me in my daily living as I live life to
the fullest. They are sturdy extra hands that I have had to replace, for these
old hands of mine tremble for reasons unknown.
10. Why not start volunteering some of your time. Visit nursing homes in your
area. Be a
volunteer; deliver mail to bedridden patients; read and write correspondents;
read books to them a chapter at a visit, giving them something to look forward
God has gifted you in some way, music, art, reading, crocheting, knitting, being
a friend, even if it is just because you care. Being a volunteer caregiver can
start this week. Rewards are bountiful to all concerned. We each could need aid
one day. Know this and God bless you.