20 February 2010

I was looking through some of what I saved on my comp, wondering what I could junk, and came across this.......
"One of the dangers in any kind of eldercare program is that caregivers may “infantilize” the elderly, forgetting that, even with childlike needs, they are still adults, according to Sonia Salari, a specialist in aging and intergenerational issues at the University of Utah. Baby talk, nicknames, scolding, time-outs and silly d├ęcor may be appropriate for children, but directed at elderly adults, Ms. Salari argues, they are a form of abuse." This is from here.
I noted this down when I came across it, because this is something I feel strongly about. I have seen various older people (not necessarily very old) in the evenings of their lives and have noticed this tendency to 'infantilize' them. I particularly remember one old lady, who had been one of the earliest gynaecologists, probably, in our state. She had had a stroke and must have been in her late 80s. We were visiting her and I remember somebody was trying to cajole her into eating, just like one would with a small child. This incident must have taken place atleast 20 years ago. I can still remember the look in her eyes, helpless (beause she could no longer talk) at the the indignity she felt.
I tried never to do that with my father during his dementia times. Sometimes it is very difficult, especially when the person does not want to eat the food he/she should, or do something they ought to but won't. It is also very difficult to hold on to your irritation. I absolutely agree on that point and that to keep one's equilibrium, one needs help in dealing with an old person in that stage. But if we would imagine ourselves in that place even once, we might find it easier to treat that older person as an adult (unless of course they have always been the infantile, immature kind of person!).

10 February 2010

windows of my mind

I was reading Amy Tan--'The Opposite of Fate'--which is a collection of writings on herself. In it I came across a description of the windows of her study, to quote "It's three bay windows overlook neighbourhood rooftops and face north toward water and mountains." This description reminded me so much of this post of mine. It seemed to me that it was just like what I have always imagined the windows of my mind to be! So I revisited the room of my mind after a long, long while and I found the windows wide open and the room bright and swept clean, full of light. This time there are thin white curtains pulled open at the windows and they flutter in the gentle breeze blowing in. I am quite surprised to see that there are no shadows anywhere. There is no clutter, absolutely minimalist, the way I really like my surroundings to be.
How are the windows of your mind today?

02 February 2010

Continuation of last post

I suppose I have been thinking about death also because it will be my mother's 3rd death anniversary on Feb 13th, but for which we plan to have the prayer earlier--on Feb 6th.
Recently I thought about the passing away of my parents and felt that I had been lucky to be there with both of them at the end of their lives, that they did not have to die alone, without any familiar faces around.
Of course, my mother's death was so sudden--although she was 89, she was so all there in every way, even up to just half an hour before she actually passed away. Whereas, at my dad's passing away in May 2006, I was glad that I really got to say good bye to him, as well as to tell him it was ok to go.
For me personally, when I think about the time that I will die, if I could choose, I would not want it to be a sudden death, because I know how difficult that is for the people left behind--usually leaving a feeling of a lot of unfinished business.