Wednesday, June 1, 2011

CT and Caring for the Aged

Recently my 84 year old mother has been experiencing severe pain due to her oesteo arthritis. She had asked me to be her Medical Power of Attorney. Accordingly, I have been accompanying her to her many medical appointments and assessments. Life has changed dramatically for Mum - no longer able to catch the bus to shop on her own, gardening (one of her favourite pastimes) has become almost impossible and keeping the house clean (in case someone comes!). She felt like she was losing her independence and was making statements like " they told me I'm not allowed to catch the bus anymore". So I have been using Choice Theory to help Mum regain some of the "self power" she felt she had lost by asking her questions...... "can you walk to the bus, Mum?" " No, dear". "What's stopping you from walking to the bus?" "My's my body, it's wearing out" "Ok, Mum, so you can't walk to the bus on you own but you can still go shopping, just differently. There's the Council volunteer group, there's half price cab's that we have organised or there are family members who can take you".
Mum was suffering anxiety/panic attacks, we believe as a reaction to very strong pain medication. To assist her to manage these attacks I would sit calmly with her and breathe and talk about a "happy" place. She has learned very quickly that she "is in control of the remote" and can choose to change the picture in her head.
Some members of the family had become increasingly concerned with Mum's doctor (myself included) but how do you get an 84 year old, loyal through and through, to change her doctor?You sow seeds, give her information and let her make the choice herself. This week Mum decided to see another Dr - for a second opinion - even after her "old" Dr phoned her asking for her to see him.
I am soo proud of Mum and it goes to show that you are NEVER too OLD to learn. You can teach an old dog new tricks!