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On a recent call with LTC Administrators, this story was shared.
One of the homes has given copies of Now What? to families who have been a part of their home community for a while.
They’re hearing that families are taking their time reading it because “It’s such an emotional read.”
As she explained, it’s been months, or years since these families had their admission day. Reading the book was bringing back memories about how that day felt for them, how they coped with this huge life change, and how much they didn’t know or appreciate at the time.
It was lovely to hear how the families are experiencing Now What? as a way to help them process their emotions, and to be able to ‘label’ what they were feeling, as they reflect back to their admission day. They didn’t know how to process and integrate those feelings at the time.
Some even had a hard time FEELING their feelings (can any of you relate to that?)
Most new family members are just trying to cope as they go through the motions – likely on autopilot, just white knuckling and trying to get through the day without completely falling apart.
It’s easier to focus on the tasks of caregiving and navigating (including seeking the comfort of control) and that leaves very little time for noticing feelings, how they’re expressing themselves and when it can become problematic (aka Jalapeno moments).
Having Now What? as a guidebook, even years later, can help to heal some of the emotional wounds that the families have experienced. It can provide some much needed relief, and a shift in perspective, as they work through the 7 A’s of their emotional journey.
You may be wondering if you have some ‘seasoned’ families that could benefit from reading Now What? Here are some clues to help with that:
There are likely other clues not mentioned here that can help identify families that are still very much on their emotional journey, and could benefit from the education and insight Now What? offers.
Simply by noticing a family’s emotional struggle and offering them a copy of Now What? to read can be a lovely and relational way to reach out with a genuine desire to provide some support and human caring.
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