Dear Mary
Struggling with change.

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Dear Mary,

Mary BartMy husband had a stroke a couple of months ago. He has lost the movement of his left side. I help get him dressed, bath and feed him. He does not seem to be getting any better, actually he is getting worse and needing more help every day. Things are changing in our home and not for the better. He is often upset, mad at me, mad at himself and the world in general. What worked when he first had his stroke is no longer working for any of us.

I am worried and frustrated about our future. It is sure not what I had planned. He needs more help and I also find myself getting upset with how I respond to the changes in our life, our routines. How can I better cope with all the changes that he is causing us? It is wearing me out.

 

Yvonne

Hi Yvonne:

I can only image how your world has been turned upside down since your husband’s stroke. I am sure it was a shock to you all. Suddenly being a caregiver is a whole new role, one that most of us are not trained for. Dealing with his changing health and moods may well be a daily challenge for some time.

I suggest that you embrace change.

Embracing change requires creativity, being open to new ideas and developing new ways to solve issues or challenges. When change occurs and you are required to make new plans, new ways of doing things, keeping these three points in mind will help ensure that the changes made were successful. The three points are:

  1. How can this change work for me as a caregiver?
  2. How can this change work for the person that I am caring for?
  3. How can the dignity for the person that I am caring for be maintained?

I often look back when I was a full time caregiver to my parents. Many days, I was honoured to do what I did, many days I went out of my mind. I learned that change was inevitable and what worked last week, may no longer work anymore. I learned to embrace change, to find ways to make the new reality work for all of us. I also am blessed to have a strong sense of humour and that has helped me cope with many changes. Sometime things happen that you cannot image, but having a laugh or at least looking at the situation with a smile on your face, just might make your day and its changes better.

Embracing change will let you get through your day, your week and your life.

Mary

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Caregiving Matters

Mary is a daughter. She also Chairs our charity. Mary has also held Director roles on three other boards, most recently with The Palcare Network of York Region.

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