16th Annual Caregiver Resource Fair, Dinner, and Town Hall Meeting | November 12, 2018
Save the Date!
The 16th Annual Caregiver Resource Fair, Dinner and Town Hall Meeting is November 12, 2018.
The event will be held at the Florian Gardens, 2340 Lorch Ave, Eau Claire.
Please pre-register by November 5, 2018 by calling the Aging & Disability Resource Center at (715) 839-4735 or online at www.adrcevents.org.
Download the flyer here
Capturing the Untold Story
We all have them, stories that are repeated within families and social circles time and again. Some are met with smiles and laughter, while others are sneered at or result in a roll of the eyes.
Usually these stories are treasured links of connections with each other and with treasured moments of the past. Using just a few words they can bring about a sense of normalcy during uncertain times and offer respite through the struggles of life. If used correctly stories have the ability to help people better communicate and understand each other.
However, sometimes these narratives can also cause caregivers to disconnect from the storyteller especially when a loved one with memory loss tells them repeatedly. As a caregiver, it is important to look at these stories not as a curse, but as a blessing. The fact is that these chronicles can assist caregivers in their quest to stay connected to their loved one throughout their caregiving journey.
Capturing these stories and special connections early on is very important. Luckily, this time of year usually gives people the urge to clean and organize, which is also a perfect time to collect the treasures that will trigger these special memories. Perhaps it is a Veteran's gleaming military medals that remind him of his band of brothers in arms and their boyish antics or a scrap of purple satin whose smooth texture brings to mind braiding a wiggling daughter's tangled hair or a picture of friends holding up their "big fish" which brings a laughing recall of how it got away.
Using familiar stories during a time of giving care is an easy way to maintain trusting connections with your loved one, while distracting them from the task. For instance if you are giving your loved one a bath showing them the picture of their "big fish" may bring them a feeling of happiness, pride and self-worth.
Continuing to talk about the fish or fishing in general while proceeding with the bathing process will help maintain this feeling. Ultimately, this distracts them from the very personal and sometimes invading process of being bathed. As a result, this normally stressful experience is eased by a good memory and a kind conversation.
However, as you are collecting your treasures remember to engage your loved one in the search as well. You may find that the items that trigger your memories are not the same for them or that the feelings they bring forth in your loved one are not as joyful as they once were. Perhaps now the picture of the "big fish" brings to mind that those in the picture have passed or that your loved one is afraid of the water.
It is also important to take the time to label the items you find with enough information so that whomever might encounter them will be able to help your loved one retell their story when they cannot. By doing this you help that person make a meaningful connection with your loved one and ensure that their story never goes untold.