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Thread: Taking class with sister

  1. #1
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Taking class with sister

    I think I might have mentioned this on one of our elder threads, but my sister & I are taking a class at the local community college on caring for someone with dementia. It sounded like a good opportunity since our mom and my MIL are having some cognitive issues, so we had signed up a couple of months ago. We've been to 2 of the 4 sessions so far, and I'm definitely enjoying it. There are only 4 students in the class, and the RN teaching the class is great. I was thinking about what a rare treat it is to take a class just because I want the knowledge, as opposed to it being a degree requirement or something needed for work, just pure acquisition of knowledge because I want to learn it. DH and I had taken a bunch of horticultural classes at the Arnold Arboretum quite a few years ago, and it was a similar experience. I would go so far as to rank this as one of life's greatest pleasures. Doing it with someone I love just makes it all the sweeter.

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    I love the Arnold Arboretum. This class sounds good also.

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    I love it, if I lived closer to my sister it would be great to take a class together.

    I am actually ready to teach a class! It is on crochet, rather open-ended but I will have a few projects for people to choose from. I would love for siblings or good friends to take the class together.

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    Good for you for being proactive, rosarugosa.
    I'm wondering about next steps in regards to an older friend I mentioned who was recently diagnosed. She has a grown son and grandson in town who are helping, but friendship wise I'd like to help where I can. I think many are afraid to become tagged as primary caregiver when they really only can participate as they are able and available. I'd be curious to know if your teacher has any thoughts on this.

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    When a good friend of mine had early onset Alzheimer's I would pick her up and go to lunch, errands, shopping, etc. She loved movies so we would do that. She had a lot of friends that all drifted away because she could only talk about the past. I know many of her stories by heart but that was my gift to her. I would call her and ask her to do things with you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    Good for you for being proactive, rosarugosa.
    I'm wondering about next steps in regards to an older friend I mentioned who was recently diagnosed. She has a grown son and grandson in town who are helping, but friendship wise I'd like to help where I can. I think many are afraid to become tagged as primary caregiver when they really only can participate as they are able and available. I'd be curious to know if your teacher has any thoughts on this.
    Lainey: I will try to ask about that next week.

    Teacher Terry: You are a good friend!

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    Also I let her do the things she still could. Eventually she had trouble ordering food in a restaurant but I knew her favorites so would offer her a few choices from things I knew she loved which helped. I just treated her the way I hoped that someone would treat me if I was in the same situation. One time on vacation we had rented a home and her DH came out of the bedroom frustrated by the look on his face. So I went in and of course she couldn't figure out what she wanted to wear, type of dress, jewelry etc so I helped her figure it out. It is much easier to be patient if you are not living it everyday) I would sometimes have her spend a few nights at my house to give her husband a break and she wanted to help. So I would give her tasks I knew she could do like sweep the floor, brush the dog, etc. She felt good that she was helping and was super slow at everything but I didn't care. The last year and a half of her life when she couldn't talk anymore, etc we went weekly to visit her in the home but wow it was sad. At that point I was wishing she was telling me the same story for the million time. I was relieved when she died because that disease is one of the cruelest things to go through. She was well loved at the home and when she was dying the workers came all day long to say their goodbyes. Her DH died the year before and we miss them both.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    TT: Our instructor talked about the importance of "Purposeful Engagement." Most of us do get gratification from feeling useful and productive. When I'm at my Mom's house, it seems to make her really happy if I ask her to make me a cup of tea.

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    Rosa, thanks for letting me know I was doing the right thing.

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    Thanks, I'll be doing what I can. Will be interesting to see how this unfolds. I very much agree this is a cruel disease.

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