Jan 19, 2011


"It's a godsend, really lucky, when one has so few relations." Menander.

I am reading Cleopatra, the historical study done by Stacy Schiff, and the royalty in Cleopatra's time certainly seemed to eliminate the competition of one's relatives. Harsh. Something not considered today in what we like to call our civilized world. Still, squabbles among relatives is legend. Just now in the news the upset between Ronald Reagan's sons over the book, Remembering My Father, that Ron Reagan wrote. Stress brings out the opportunity for even more upset among family members, and perhaps you, like me, have found that family members express all kinds of opinions about what one should do in the face of dealing with the terminal illness of dementia. So, how can we as caregivers, already stretched to maximum by the responsibilities and strains of caregiving, handle relations?

A most important thing is to become very clear about how you want the process of caregiving to be, so that one is not confused by the divergent opinions. A great Twelve Step strategy is to listen to the kernel of truth in any opinion, and let the rest go. Model communication that is open, direct, respectful and honest; and expect that same communication from others. And, finally, remember: we cannot please all of the people all of the time, and it is far better to put our energies into being true to ourselves and to what we believe is in the best interest of the person for whom we provide care.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point about communication and the necessity for openness and honesty. I think this is especially important in caregiving because we want to be as accurate as possible without letting biases or pride get in the way of getting people the care they need. I also agree with your idea that we should have a clear understanding of how caregiving should be so others' opinions do not interfere with that is most important to the individual. Thanks for sharing