The Unexpected Way to Prevent Falls
A person who is confident in themselves has decreased fall risk.
(This is CENTERING to have confidence in other’s abilities and in our own abilities.)
As family caregivers, we tend to believe a person’s dementia is further progressed than it is, and believe the WORST story our minds will tell us. Try saying a different story. Imagine: “Dementia is not affecting my loved one as much as I believe.”
Sometimes, we have to get out of the way in order to prevent falls and increase someone’s quality of life.
In people with dementia, there’s a phenomenon that often happens when they enter our club: they can do more away from home than they do at home. For example, they require assistance to cut their meat or get out of a chair at home, but they do it independently at the club!
This might be because sometimes we do things for them, without even realizing we are doing it.
Sometimes, our “untold emotions” hold back our loved ones from living their best life:
MY LOVED ONE STRUGGLES. I feel bitterness, anger, disappointment, sorrow, guilt, frustration, despair that this situation isn’t better. I feel resentful of the burden I didn’t ask for. You might even feel resentment and HATRED for the disease that invaded the mind of our loved one! You feel GUILT about having ANY of these feelings because YOU LOVE THEM! THESE ARE BIG EMOTIONS!
Take a moment and honor those emotions! Take all the time you need. Here’s the next point to consider…
Those emotions all had to do with YOU.
They’re how YOU feel about their struggle.
Whoa…how about that? If you’re not sure whether that’s correct, go back and read it again.
It’s true — you can get the job done quicker or more effectively than your loved one can. That way, you also don’t have to watch them struggle, and you can avoid all those yucky, uncomfortable, big feelings. It’s humbling. However, let’s allow ourselves some grace and have awareness of the ways WE can sometimes diminish THEIR independence by doing things for them (to avoid OUR own discomfort).
Maintaining the ability to make decisions, problem solve independently, and exercise physical abilities enables a person to prevent their own falls more successfully.
The CONFIDENCE that comes from “doing” centers all of us mentally, emotionally, and PHYSICALLY.
Remember, they’re doing it because of the FEELING it gives them: a sense of purpose, confidence and independence.
We all need, want, seek, and crave PURPOSE. A good way to think of their struggle to problem solve, make a decision, or use decreased physical strength, is to view it as an investment in their SPIRIT.
Give yourself compassion and permission to step away from doing FOR them.
You want to see your loved one have success. You want to see them supported.
You want to spare them from ANY disappointment, pain, and struggle.
The desires to rush in and remove any struggle ABSOLUTELY MAKE COMPLETE SENSE! Honor your emotions…then step back and watch how their confidence increases.
We’re often afraid of what could happen. As a result, our loved ones experience greater physical decline in their abilities — resulting in a higher risk of falls. Keep those fine and gross muscles moving in order to increase strength and balance!