Caregiving Vignettes: “The Yellow Book” – Part 2 of 2
In my last post on “The Yellow Book” I describe how we used it in the times of my husband’s delusions.
While we no longer refer to the book to counteract delusions now because his delusions are different and I am able to (mostly) handle him by a look, a smile, a redirect, or a couple cookies. He will put both hands out for cookies and want two in each hand.
And “The Yellow Book” has changed from being relevant to him and something he wants to study for information about his life. At this point it no longer makes sense to him though he still tries to study it. What “The Yellow Book” has become is a security.
He has invested so many hours in looking at it.
We have spent time with him adding to it until it is now all full,
We have spent countless time deeply discussing its contents,
He brings to adult day care three days a week,
I ended up tearing out some pages of it that were too confusing to him.
If you were to begin “The Yellow Book” with your bvFTD person, I suggest you just use it as needed for what you are going through. Don’t feel that it has to be perfect. Just start using it and filling in the pages. I let my husband write a story in it. My daughter also spent time with him and wrote him a story. He liked cutting pictures that appealed to him from the morning newspaper and taping them in. The plastic cover is all rumpled now and soon I feel we will be retiring it because it will have lost its use.
Be a less stressed caregiver … learn to go with the flow. (When possible!)
I am always comparing caregiving to motherhood because there are so many similarities… i.e. every little child puts out both hands for cookies.
But an important difference: the goal. The goal is not to teach him but to have a peaceful home for all so if he wants four cookies and it might ruin his appetite and if he is very insistent then he gets the four cookies. The child, however, is growing in all ways. They need to learn patience so waiting for dinner is necessary so they eat their dinner well but also so they can learn to wait. At the end of raising a child you have a fully formed person ready to take on the world.
At the end of dementia is… the end. Keeping it real is important.
There’s enough delusion in dementia, it needs no participation from me.
He just came to ask me to take a look at something in his room that is overheating. That doesn’t concern me much because I know that he gets his language mixed up. It probably has something to do with his television because most things do. So, off I go to the art of caregiving.