How do you wonderful caregivers deal with your own impatience?
I'm mad at myself once again today, after an afternoon of shopping with my 80-year-old Mom (recently diagnosed and being treated for mild dementia). She was having a bad day herself, because she also suffers from aphasia (the inability to find the words you need to communicate) and was having a horrible time trying to explain to the saleslady what she was looking for. I usually take a step back, because I've been told that being supportive is better than taking over, which is my nature. I should probably also mention that I am not a shopper myself, I've never understood the need to try oodles of things on and compare every last detail of a garment before deciding on something. But my Mom has always loved shopping, so it's something we do often now at her request. After three hours of trying on dozens of items in several stores, I noticed that my Mom was simply unable to make a decision. This might be a new symptom of her dementia, or it might just be her nature - since I became her full-time caregiver, I have to keep reminding myself that I am dealing both with a person who is changing, and with a parent that I am getting to know all over again. Mom and I never shopped together before this! In any case, my impatience spilled over a few times, with my voice getting edgy (if it's not comfortable, Mom, just put it aside and try the next one!), which ended in her feeling rushed, which was not at all what I intended. I apologized immediately and said - Let's take all the time you need! But the damage was done and she insisted on going home at that point. I feel like a horrible person. And I know that these moments come and go, and that our love is unconditional, and that I can't be too hard on myself. I know all these things! I just wish that I could learn a way to be more compassionate and more patient.... any tips from other Type A caregivers??