Working with fully operational cognition, I am struck with the difficulties of transitioning from one job to another. The last month between jobs at age 24 felt the same as this last month at 54. There’s the anticipation of life changes as a result. There’s the fear of the sanity of the decision. There’s the sadness at leaving dear clients and co-workers. And there’s the “it’s almost here” that reaches way back to the pre-Christmas days of childhood. Each day holds a level of emotion that did not exist pre-decision.
In Alzheimer’s care we protect the cognitively challenged from transitions as best we can. We use therapeutic fibbing to buffer the pain of the big transitions. We minimize chaos to smooth the way. Quality care commits to providing continuity of care through the same worker, familiar routine, and careful preparation. Yet we still see the fall-out.
If I have such a response to change when I have the ability to rationalize, to reflect on memories, to self-adjust my response, and to remember the long-range goal; I can only surmise just how difficult it is for a person with memory loss. This renews my commitment to be vigilant in minimizing stressors as I coach caregivers in the necessary transitions for memory care.