Q. I have been living with my mother who has been diagnosed with dementia since some years and me and my wife feel extremely stressed about the condition. We all know how challenging it is to cope with it and care for a mother whom you love and want to care for. It is a constant emotional situation, from moment to moment when there is clarity one moment and then again complete confusion, it is exhausting. Her sense of self and memories are slowly fading away and it causes me stress. My wife is a better person to care for her but I see her stressed too. It’s not just their memory that’s fading; it’s also their independence and ability to perform even the simplest tasks. It’s a continuous process without relief. We need help as we feel we need counselling to take care of ourselves too besides caring for her. Please advice and guide us.
Ans. Such conditions are incurable and have to be taken care of on a daily basis. One option is to hire trained staff to take care of your mother, which is also a challenge because training in dementia care is rare in India. There are senior homes coming up in cities who also offer assistance in daily living and the need for such centres will grow. Of -course you have to make for some fair amount of financial resources. Another alternative is to look for a support group for caregivers in your area or city and join that. Its offers good tips and guidance to caregivers and also offers emotional support and relief as you share your grievances and burden with other who understand your plight. Of course, I can always help you both with counselling on stress management and self-care. That is a must for both of you as you are direct caregivers and need to take care of the ensuing stress and emotional upheavals while taking care of your mother.
Q. My child has a physical disability since childhood. I don’t want to say much about it as I feel guilty about giving birth to him. I feel I am responsible for his problems and I am not a good mother. I curse myself for bringing trouble to my child and not being able to give him good physical health. The child does not complain and is a very good boy in all ways but my guilt does not go away. This happened when my family and husband blamed me indirectly and sometimes directly too about the situation. That hurt me the most. My family now does not say anything these days but somehow I feel they don’t think much of me. Please help me about this condition of mine.
Ans. This means that you have not reconciled to the fact of the matter of your child. This will ultimately reflect on your child in the long run. The mother is very important and has a crucial role to play in the development of his personality. Your negativity will seep into his mind too and affect his growth. You must reconcile your mind to the facts of the reality and accept your child without guilt or remorse. Its God’s will and each child has his own destiny and life which he has to accept and live in a positive manner. Parents whole-hearted acceptance is very crucial. I would suggest a few sessions of counselling to deal with your emotional states. It can be done effectively.