Practical help not always wanted
When Jake was a baby I had a choice of two health visitors when I went to the clinic. One was very pragmatic and gave straight to the point advice when I asked for it ie 'try this and if that doesn't work try this'. The other was less straightforward saying things like 'well I'm not sure what to suggest but you could try such and such to see if that will work'. I preferred the first version as it gave me something definite to work with. My GP was also good at detecting my real underlying worries and would give equally practical instructions which all helped give me confidence where I had none. Now I'm in another situation where sometimes I'm at a loss for how to handle things and I discover I thrive on being given practical tips and adapting them where necessary. What I find interesting is that not everyone seems to want this. I have joined yet another on-line forum (I will keep at it until I find one which gives me the practical and uplifting support I need so if you know of one of these please let me know the details) and people yet again write about difficult situations. Almost all of the answers seem to be along the lines of 'that's dementia for you' or 'if you think that's bad wait until you hear what I have to put up with'. When someone has given a practical solution to try it has generally been ignored and I truly don't understand why. One or two people have 'liked' the suggestions but the vast majority have just gone down the sympathy route which is all very well but doesn't offer any real hope of improvement. I am beginning to realise that some people just need a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear but for me what helps are strategies which make me feel in control and let me make positive changes. The most useful thing I was told at the very beginning of all this was to stop asking questions and this one thing changed our lives for the better overnight. That one success drove me to work out other changes to make and ten months down the line things are better than ever. I now have a list of ideas (from people who are further into this than we are) to try as and when Ash's dementia encroaches even more on our lives but I'm mystified as to why others can't see that if something isn't working then things need to change in order for life to improve. What I do know, because I've been in this position, is that sometimes we get so bogged down with life that we can't see the wood for the trees but if life is to improve we much continue to adapt as necessary.