First, the good stuff.
I sign on to two online courses on dementia (Dementia 101 and Dementia
102) through the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto.
Both courses could be completed in one afternoon. What I’ve learned so far has been very
helpful, particularly the material about communicating to a person who has
dementia. Certain technical requirements though. Info on that can be found on
A visit to Hollyburn House West Vancouver. The sales person,
Nicole, went into a lot of detail. My parents are not ready to move yet, let
alone face the idea of moving, but
it’s good to do your research.
I felt grateful that Nicole spent so much time with me
one-to-one. She gave me a copy of the Seniors Directory (2019) that has some
useful contacts that might help me to help my parents think about their future.
The new hummingbird feeder I set up is so much fun! And
great for my Dad to sit and watch, as he loves nature. The ‘Hummingbird Café and Soup Kitchen’ is
officially open for business!
Crafts are taking a back seat to a program of intensive
reading and study—mostly on children with special needs and the elderly. Still,
I found time to do a few pieces, a yin and yang piece and a piece for my
mother’s upcoming birthday.
Dad loves his new talking album. It’s just perfect because
I’ve read in ‘Mind Over Matter’ that one of the alternative methods of
communicating with a person who has dementia is either photos or music (both of
which my Dad adores.) So good that with the help of Whatsapp, we could record
my brother’s voice (he lives back east) for one of the pictures.
And now, the not-so-good stuff. Dad fell (again!) in the
kitchen. Luckily no major injuries, just stressful for both of us. I had to leave for work half an hour
later. Cassandra’s post on worry (on the
Caregivers Blog) I really found helpful at times like these. Particularly the
worry scripts method. I’ve read in ‘Mind over Matter’ (volume 7, Women’s Brain
Health Initiative), that engaging in creative practices can help alleviate
depression and anxiety.
It is possible that I have burnout. I have most of the
symptoms, according to what I read.
- Reduced productivity
- Feeling listless
- Low mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of creativity (this one I don’t seem to
I find my concentration improves
when I read online in French. This is
why I so enjoyed landing on the l’appui website, a website dedicated to
caregivers originating in Quebec.
On this website I learned, among
other things, the French word for ‘caregivers’. It is:
‘les proches aidants d’ainés’.
I also learned of a huge
volunteer event in Montreal and surrounding communities called ‘on jase-tu?’
(Which translates as: ‘Wanna chat?’
Volunteers from all over chat with lonely seniors at designated centres
Alas, many people are going off
to far-away places and not I. However, the following two quotes comfort me.
This one is by Minot J. Savage:
‘Go not abroad for happiness. For
see! It is a flower that blossoms by thy door.’
Or, Marcel Proust, 19th
century author of ‘Remembrance of Things Past’:
‘The real voyage of discovery
consists in not seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’
I leave you with a recipe,
perfect as strawberries are now in season:
Calm Pond’s Awesome Strawberry
(great on plain yogurt)
Take ½ pound strawberries and
hull them (remove stems). Slice strawberries in half or quarters if large.
Place in a small saucepan with ½-3/4 cup water and sweeten to taste. (I use
brown sugar but you can use white sugar or even honey, if you prefer). Bring to
a boil and then lower the heat and let ‘stew’ for 5-10 minutes or until the
syrup thickens. Cool, then pour into jar and store in the fridge.
Peace to you all.
Family is everything. Story is everything too (in my view at least).
By Calm Pond