We all adapt and alter priorities in our lives as circumstances bring about changes that affect the way in which we are able to manage our activities of daily living. Have you ever been ill, or laid up for even a brief time? How frustrating was it for you to have to wait for someone else to take you to the store, or a doctor’s appointment, or even have a meal? It is not pleasant. We can get very frustrated when our lives are disrupted for even a few days. Imagine then how you would feel if these limitations that prevent you from doing what you want when you want it were a permanent part of your life. Realizing this, and taking this into account when stressful things occur can help ease our own hurt feelings, and not take the emotions, and frustrations personally. It’s not excusing the behavior, but using compassion and wisdom in handling the problem, so it doesn’t escalate into permanent damage to the relationship.
When there is little opportunity to assert your own control, even what might seem to be a small thing to us, can become a very important issue to our loved one. Open and honest communication between you is very important. Let the loved one express their frustration, their sorrows, and be simply the “listener”. It’s not necessary to try to have any answers, or try to “fix” them. They need to know someone cares, your listening ear, and caring heart will go a long way in bringing peace, and a positive change into the atmosphere. Once they have let out what is bothering them, and allowed to do so without fear of retaliation, you will many times find they will come to accept their limitations, and be willing to receive the help they need with a better attitude. Limitations need to be set, but that can be done with tact. When you begin to sense some peace coming into the situation; try to change the subject, and some humor into the conversation. By letting each other know how you are feeling, you may find the control issues become less important.
Try to make it your goal to spend each day as if it is the last, because it may be. It will serve to help you through the days ahead when your loved one is no longer with you.