By Rita Torres, Operations Manager
I have read that often a family member is first to notice a change in behavior or mood of a loved one and thus are instrumental in helping the person to get medical care. I am noticing changes in a loved one and it is a challenge to address this with that person for a couple reasons. Maybe you can identify with my reluctance to step in and speak up. This is my thinking…
Fear-To question, challenge, or recommend is not advised if you do not (figuratively, of course) like having your head bit off. There will be yelling, partly because there is also hearing loss involved. I do not do well with yelling.
Lack of confidence-I only know what I have read and determined to have understood. I am not an authority. This is not a field in which I have great experience. I will be challenged with questions for which I am not sure how to answer. Besides, I think it is only right to bring up a problem when you have a solution.
Lack of proximity-We live a long distance apart and do not have a lot of time together to just talk. We are usually together at a function, sharing time with others. Do I express my concerns there, where our private conversation will likely be interrupted or possibly overheard?
I care for and love this person. I am confident that the issue can be helped; that quality of life can be better. In my mind, a relationship is a relationship is a relationship, whether it is with the checkout person at the grocery store, my work colleagues, my significant other, my child; they are all relationships. I just have to remind myself to apply the same compassion, understanding, patience, and desire for a positive outcome as I do in any other relationship.
Perhaps if I allow compassion and sensitivity to be my guide, I can be of some help. Hopefully, before everyone who loves my loved one is driven away.