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Coming to Grips as the
starts so innocuously; a misplaced set of keys, a lost wallet, a burned dinner.
Any one event is so easily dismissed, but taken cumulatively you quietly begin
to question your own mind or that of your partner or parent or friend.
the finesse with which the issue is raised, the comment or concern may cut like
a knife. The thought of perishing inside one’s own mind terrifies.
often, awareness of one’s own deficits is limited. One doesn’t see what one
cannot remember. The gaps are filled in with one’s own beliefs that seemingly
make sense to the one affected, but bears no resemblance to the reality of the
others. Conflict, mistrust, confusion, anger, depression, loss, anxiety pervade.
to grips as the memory fades is a process over time and a journey for not only
the affected by those whose lives intersect. A new normal sets in but it is not
a static new normal but on that rests on shifting sands.
does one talk about these changes, these challenges, the implications, the
choices? How does one cope whether the affected, the caregiver, the family or
the friend? What should be said or left unsaid… and when?
with dementia, coming to grips as the memory fades will be so different from one
person to another. The right way of one isn’t necessarily the path of another.
Right will also be a function of where one is over the course of one’s
journey. There can be so much to talk about, yet when and how become challenges
you or a loved one is coping with dementia, apart from the wonderful support
available through different community groups and resources there is a much more
private and particular path and events and discussions that need be determined,
that need be had.
seeking to cope amidst the fear of a life affected with dementia, include
counseling for yourself, yourself with your partner and with your family,
especially when feeling stuck or unsure about having meaningful conversations
and making appropriate plans.
painful the thought and reality of dementia, the isolation and feeling stuck and
upset for conversations not had can be even more tragic. Life can less about
what it throws at us than how we cope, together.
may find meaning, greater peace and more support the result of counseling.
Counseling may help what feels insufferable, feel meaningful. Counseling may
help you better manage the shifting sands, finding strategies to cope and better
manage from one stage to the next. It is well worth considering when coming to
grips as the memory fades.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.
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