We’ve all heard the expression: ‘one step forward, two steps back.’ It seems like every time I come up with an idea to make my Dad’s life better it just makes my life more difficult.
Case in point… I got him some books on tape to listen to (he likes comedians but only dead or nearly dead ones; no women and the routines should be rated R). So now I have to be around to put in the tape, turn it on, turn it off when it’s done – meaning I have to plan to be around for approximately an hour. But that’s okay.
And even though his macular degeneration makes it cruelly difficult for him to see the tv, I do tape the programs he likes to ‘watch’ (he’s, oftentimes, sleeping through them when they’re regularly on). However, then I must stick around for slightly less than an hour to fast forward through all the commercials.
So, in my attempt to keep him happy and to fill his days with some small amount of joy and laughter, I partake in what I lovingly call, an uphill descent!
When you look down at your hands and don’t recognize them as your own… that changes everything. When you have an ongoing conversation with someone who isn’t actually there… that changes everything. And when you have to center yourself on the edge of a chair and push as hard as you can with both hands to stand up… that changes everything, too.
No one expects life to remain the same for always. Most of us can accept that and learn to adapt. Change is hard but it shouldn’t be impossible – one would think…
So, what do you do if someone you love refuses to accept change?
You can’t just leave them alone in a world that no longer exists. You must help them acclimate themselves to their new surroundings. Brighten up dark rooms with color, place familiar objects within reach and keep their spirits up at all times.
There are creams and lotions on the market that supposedly remove wrinkles and age spots; books-on-tape that can keep you company when you’re alone or lonely and canes or walkers that can help you get around faster and easier. But only YOU can choose to change!