I like to call caregivers modern day Saints. This is not to suggest that we are perfect. Like everyone else, we make lots of mistakes whether we want to admit it or not.

Today, unfortunately, was a good case in point. I chose to take my supper with my in-laws because I have been concerned with how little she’s eating. I was totally unsuccessful in getting her to eat more than a few bites of her supper. My frustration grew to the point that I made the mistake of discussing with them both the need to have staff start to feed her. He recognized why I was saying it but said it would be up to her and she of course said she could do everything herself! In this version of the dementia dance, all I accomplished was making them both feel bad because I was frustrated.

Afterwards I realized that focusing on the strategy Claire had suggested is the answer, that is giving Doris smoothies each day that have a thousand or more calories in them along with good nutrition. Simply by finishing a smoothie, whatever else she ate would be a bonus and so they could continue to enjoy their meals together without the intrusion of staff. Silly me! Anyhow Doris had forgotten about it 5 minutes later because she’s really not retaining much these days and it probably only took Jim another half an hour to forget about it as well.

I must say sometimes it’s really challenging taking care of my in-laws…