If you feel like you’re drowning in paperwork, phone calls and all the other “stuff” that comes with taking care of someone with dementia, you’re not alone. It’s never ending.
The challenge is to keep all this “stuff” in perspective and not let it overshadow the person you’re doing it for.
For me, dealing with my dad’s finances and legal issues, educating myself about his condition, figuring out who all his doctors were, and updating family and friends about his situation . . . It was a full-time job.
At the same time, I was heartbreakingly aware that dementia had stripped away my dad’s independence and sense of purpose. He was hurting.
He needed to know he was still valuable and loved. As much as possible, I wanted that to be my priority.
Not that he made it easy! There were days I would have preferred to wait in line at the Social Security office or to balance his checkbook than to visit him and be pelted with his accusations and complaints.
But he was a good, generous, hard-working person all of his life. He deserved to be acknowledged, appreciated and loved – regardless of what dementia was making him say and do on any particular day.
Ultimately I knew that the paperwork could wait; my dad couldn’t.
So, I prayed for patience and strength. I prayed a lot! I had a few “nervous breakdowns” along the way, but I survived.
It’s been several months now since my dad died. I’m still not done with all the paperwork, but I know this too shall pass. In the meantime, I am grateful for the hours and days I was able to be with him.