Counseling and Dementia: Part One
Anyone who has followed my blogs knows that, even with dementia, I continue to push the envelope where my life is concerned. I am determined to live every lucid moment I have to its fullest. With that in mind, I have decided to embark on a new journey of self-discovery.
"Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that is where I renew my springs that never dry up." Pearl S. Buck
For even a "normal" person, the past four months would have been a trial. Losing my dad and step mother within three months of each other has been difficult. In addition to that, I am fighting to bring my diabetes under control. It is imperative that, with vascular dementia, I remain as healthy as possible. I spent three months in Weight Watchers trying to lose weight, but to no avail. Writing has become more difficult. My attention span has shortened. I have moments of "snappishments" (that's a descriptive word which I am not sure existed before now...). I do not enjoy life as I once did. It is not all dementia; I am sure of that. I know I must get my life back into order, if I am to continue living as long and as normal a life as possible.
Considering all the above, I have decided to go into counseling. It isn't the first time. I'm a big believer in seeking help when it is needed. The first step is recognizing the need; the second is finding a reputable, dependable counselor with whom you can relate. You must be able to very honest with this person, so you must feel safe with him/her.
I have located my previous counselor, with whom I had great success. Hypnotism may be part of this whole process of discovery again; I hope so as it worked so well when we used it before. I have so much to discover about myself. I have so much to learn about making adjustments in the future where my dementia is concerned. Once I start this process in a few weeks, I will, as usual, keep you posted on my progress.
In preparation for my new journey, I did some research recently into the world of counseling and dementia. Surprisingly, very little research-or even interest-is seen in the field of dementia patients and counseling. (Most has been on supporting the caregiver.) What? Does society think we are beyond help? Are we not worth the expense? Are we to be just shut away and forgotten? I THINK NOT!!!! Researchers are missing the boat here. With the elderly population increasing rapidly, they had better be looking into ALL avenues of life for the dementia sufferer!!!
To be fair, there has been some research done. One such study I found most interesting is entitled "Priorities for People Having Dementia: Education, Counseling, and Research" by Kerstin Steiber Roger, Department of Family Social Services, Facility of Human Ecology, University of Manitoba, Canada, 2008. This study supports everything I have been advocating and writing about these past two years. I have been in contact with Ms. Roger, and she has given me her permission to write about her study. Next week, I will review this very relevant study for my readers.