Tip # 7 for Caregivers

Use the Life Story.

Each of us has a life story and while we’re living it, we often don’t realize how important it is. The life story defines us, leaves a legacy and tells our loved ones who we were and how we dealt with each day and each situation.

For caregivers, the life story becomes vital. It tells us how to deal with the patients and how to best ease their anxiety.

During her life, did she like animals? Then we need pet therapy.

Did he enjoy watching the sunset? Then let’s watch it together every night, and especially – when he seems agitated.

Was she in the military? Then maybe she’ll enjoy hearing military songs such as “Anchors Away” or “From the Halls of Montezuma.”

My mother was a nurse, so when she’s anxious—we use medical jargon.

“Remember, Mom, when you were a nurse and you wanted your patients to take their medicine? Well, you need to do that now. Swallow your meds.”

When Mom doesn’t want to do something, we ask the doctor to write a prescription. She’s accustomed to obeying doctors’ orders. The doctor wrote a script that stated, “Arlene is no longer able to drive a car.” Mom didn’t like it, but she obeyed.

This tip also reminds us that it’s important to write memoirs, to get our life stories down in print so that our children will know how to communicate with us. Leave a legacy, but also supply the clues that will help others know our life stories—if we become one of those who sometimes forgets.