The Memory Fixer: Caregiving From A Granddaughter’s Perspective
Guest Post by Lisa DuVal of “I Feel So Unnecessary” caregiving blog
My grandmother became ill when I was 28. A few months after I started helping take care of her she developed vascular dementia. Up until then I had handled her sickness pretty well but when she began having trouble with
her memory I became determined to “fix” it.
She always had one of the best memories I’d ever seen, was skilled at taking care of financialmatters, and could do complicated math problems in her head in no time (unlike me). She took care of everything and everybody. So when her memory started failing I took it as a personal affront. How dare the nefarious dementia steal her memory!
By sheer will I thought I could force the skills she lost back into her brain. I was a little bit wrong on that count. So…I decided to be a grown up and try to adjust to the situation. I fretted less over the person she was and focused more on the person she became. I cherished the time I spent with her and made new memories. And maybe learned some things along the way.
I found she responded better to help when I broke things down into small steps, didn’t “boss” her (she didn’t take to that too kindly), and didn’t change her routine. In the end dementia was a curse, but it was also a blessing.
Lisa DuVal writes about her caregiving experiences, marriage, and yes…books at her blog I Feel So Unnecessary. She lives with her husband, grandfather, mother, and a grumpy cat in Virginia.