Remember I Can’t Remember
A Guest Blog by Eric Andersen
Eric and Heather Andersen wrote Remember I Can’t Remember, a Guidebook for Alzheimer’s/Dementia Caregivers
In our dementia care guidebook Remember I Can’t Remember, we encourage exposing the grandchildren to caregiving and the process of ageing. Here is an excerpt from our book:
“Make this an all-inclusive experience. Include your children. Try to look at this as a part of life, not something that takes one away from life. If the grandchildren are young, they can learn a great deal from your modeling. They can gain insight into the ways we define life and its value. The joy of children is a great gift to the elderly. If they are adults, they may be able to shoulder much of the caregiving without the same friction that often exists between child and parent.”
I greatly appreciate and respect the work you are doing Irene. Here in the USA, involving grandchildren in a positive and constructive way is a conscious choice. Our lives are so scattered and family members are often separated by great distances geographically. We are constantly striving for independence and autonomy; life is the pleasant things, so when something like Alzheimer’s/dementia enters our lives we need to tighten the family fabric that was previously a looser weave. It is bringing us back to the core issues of life, and usually leads to a radical reorganising of priorities.
I feel the challenge of this work is to approach it with a glad heart. I don’t say that lightly: I know it is a great challenge, but if we approach our involvement as drudgery that is void of mystery or joy, we will be doing the children and our loved ones a disservice. In a situation like this the joy children carry is indispensible and often contagious.
I am a strong believer in letting kids play and not denying them their childhood, but I believe a happy childhood can include and benefit from an awareness of the ageing process and the modelling of life-affirming care.
Visit Remember, I Can’t Remember HERE