As I shared mom's end of life journey, I certainly gained much perspective, knowledge and resources. In the spirit of sharing, here are several of the ones that I found the most helpful.
I took an online class from Rutgers University on Communicating with the Older Adult. It included the below link to a video about Communicating with people who have memory loss. It includes some subtle ways to adjust the way we ask questions, expect answers and have discussions with those with Dementia.
BIG TAKE-AWAYS ARE:
ONE QUESTION AT TIME
PAUSE! GIVE THEM TIME TO PROCESS AND RESPOND
REMOVE DISTRACTIONS (TURN OFF TV)
This is a video that can help understand the experiences of many elders.
I truly believe in the power of the mind. We can re-program how our mind thinks through positive reinforcement. In my quest to help my mom overcome her chronic nausea - after trying literally every option - I found a Hypnosis Meditation expert and I am here to say, it really worked. We used Zoom and met with Dr. Kazi Anam from Hypnosis Leader Inc. He was very open to customizing a meditation for my mom. We did 2 live sessions and then he recorded one of them and she listened to it a few times a day. I even had him create just a "Positive Meditation" that became very helpful in subsiding the depression that can quickly come on.
"BE READY CHECKLIST":
It’s not easy to accept that someone you care about has limited time left on this earth. Staying realistic and focusing on steps you can take before the emotion hits can help to ensure smooth care for when arrangements and actions need to take place when they have passed. This is a checklist that provides guidance for the various steps and documents needed to help with the transition and processing.
QUALITY TIME VS "DOING" TIME:
At some point during our journey I realized much of the time I was spending with mom was taking her to doctor appointments, going shopping for her or cleaning around her apartment. While I still tried to maintain the balance of working, having my own life, relationships and social activities, I also made a point to carve out time when visiting mom to sit and play cards, spend time outside, have meals together, etc. So whatever the person you are caring for enjoys, look for space to do that together. Every moment, even if it's 30minutes, makes a difference in both your lives.
THE DREADED INCONTINENCE:
PureWick External Catheter (PureWickAtHome)
HOSPICE: Resources for Caregivers on the process of dying: