How to learn patience??

susanzone5 (NY)

I find it hard to be patient with my spouse who is not what she used to be (age and illnesses). My friends are starting to tell me about my impatient behavior. It really bothers me to be this way but I am living this everyday and it's HARD, as you know.

I do have an outside life, hobbies, friends, etc.

What tips do you have to act patient? Things you say to yourself?

Thank you for being here and being supportive.


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maifleur01

You can't but you can visualize what your spouse is doing and see if there are ways that you can help make things easier. Would help to know what things are making you loose your patience.

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cooper8828

If it is dementia, the Alzheimer's Association has a "savvy caregiver" class for free. Also, respite from caregiving helps a lot. You can see if your local senior center has respite services available. Depending on the state and your financial situation, there may also be some help from Medicaid to provide caregiving in the home. Medicare can provide home health on a limited, short-term basis with a doctor's order. The main thing is to get some help as being a caregiver is really overwhelming.

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sushipup1

It's the hardest thing. Try to imagine yourself in the same situation. Slow down and think. And it helps to know what situations you have trouble with. It's sometimes very hard to be patient with someone who is being truly difficult. I've worked with people with mobility problems, and some people power thru with a smile and try their best, and some people complain about every small obstacle.

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susanzone5 (NY)

Thank you for your comments. The patience problem I have is with her slowness. Slow to react, slow to think, slow to get out what she wants to say. I have done some online research and found a few tips on Caregiver.org. Just recognizing the problem now, helps me. Also, counting to 10 before reacting. Taking a deep breath. More hugs and words of love. And talking about it with friends and caregiver groups.

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maifleur01

It may be that you should think ahead and look at the financial situation of the person that you are caring for. Not everyone has the ability to be a caregiver. If you are having problems with being patient about how slow she is the slowness will only get worse. Although it is hard to acknowledge that you can not take care of the person it is better to accept it now rather than after you lash out at the person. I know I was starting to have those thoughts with my husband.

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sunnyca_gw

Keep in mind that if you are not patient & fly off the handle the other person may become very angry & you will have a much bigger problem, it's like dealing with a child but 1 that can't change. With older people they are losing brain cells & they are NOT coming back, they are gone for good. Is she alone while you are out with friends? Is she using walker or wheelchair, what happens when it reaches that point? Marriage usually says you marry for better or worse, trouble is some people bail out when going gets rough, we don't all get smooth sailing through life. If it gets where you have to be with her every minute(that's when she might wander off, starts falling & getting bruised up, leaves stove on & burns food etc) then you may have to look for safe place for her in nursing home. The slowness could be from stroke, even little strokes you didn't notice, 1 side of face may drop some, smile crooked, saliva might be running out of corner of her mouth, she may always have Kleenex & wipe it off or not even notice it dripping off her face, nose may always be stuffy. Can she write her name, slight stroke might cause letters to get bigger as she goes across paper or might not know her name, little strokes can cause these problems & then clear up somewhat for awhile & then come back or get worse, sometimes they won't eat & think food tastes "bad" that often happens if they change meds or brand or they just don't want to eat perfectly good food. You can't reason with her & don't give her choices, confuses her & she feels stupid. Do you want to wear yellow or the blue top?(she can't remember what yellow is or blue) Do you want tuna sandwich or egg salad, want mustard in that? You might as well be talking a foreign language to her. If egg salad was always made with mustard than do it that way, she might even say, good because it's same as she remembers & she remember past things not what is going on now .If you have conversations with her about past fun times, trip you went on in 1960 & had a ball & get talking about it she might remember & be able to tell you all about it. But she probably won't remember what she had for lunch. Patients need understanding as they do know something is wrong & feel helpless. Good Luck!

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Meg O'Connor

I'm an only child who for the past 2+ years has lived with and taken care of Mom and Dad while trying to keep up with my full time teaching job. Do you have the resources to hire a companion for a few days a week? It really changed up the dynamic of my household. An outside person just takes the patient as she is and is not frustrated comparing the now to the then. That's very pleasant for the patient too and gives you a little buffer zone if the three of you are together. My mom and dad were nicer to me and to each other even after the companion left for the day and they looked forward to days she would come. Not too much for an 86 and 88 year old/ one legally blind and the other profoundly deaf to look forward to.

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sunnyca_gw

Meg, hang in there, it gets rough sometimes & I wondered if I was going to end up going before folks did, but I would do it again. Had problems with caregivers at times but good ones were great as I could go off to store or take 1 to dr. without worrying about the other 1 at home.

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mxyplux

I tell rookies new at dealing with AZ that their initial problem is that they must accept and conquer themselves. The laid back person with great patience has a tremendous advantage. Personally I have none. I tackle that 2 ways.


1. If possible plan ahead and allow extra time for the event. I stand with my hands held together behind me. And wait. Easy? No. Effective? Yes.


2. If time is of the essence I step in and just plain take over and do the job myself.


Is my record 100%? Of course not. Blowups are inevitable. Don't dwell on them but look at your ratio of blowups to non-blowups. Try to be satisfied with a small ratio. It will never be zero.


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