Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/profile/cornetta
Sometimes caregivers must become brick walls. We must be that barrier between the one we care for and danger.
After my husband Ronnie’s stroke, he had a few good years of driving. But one day he rear-ended someone. That accident precipitated involvement by the State Department of Safety. The State had a list of requirements Ronnie had to meet before reinstating his driving privileges. Ronnie could not successfully jump through all the hoops and ultimately lost his license. Needless to say, he was crushed. I wasn’t a happy camper either. I had to explain the State’s decision. I had to remove his license from his wallet and mail it back to the State. I was the brick wall between Ronnie and the wheel.
It’s no fun being the brick wall, but sometimes that’s what it takes. However I pick by battles and use the wall sparingly. My husband wants a supportive wife, not a barrier. That’s what I want too.
If you ever need to become a brick wall, try the following:
- Put yourself in your loved ones shoes. How would you feel if you were the one facing the brick wall?
- No matter how angry your loved one gets, try to maintain a calm tone of voice.
- Help your loved one find a replacement behavior. If driving is no longer an option, could a neighbor or family member arrange a weekly road trip (a simple ride to Lowe’s can make my Ronnie’s day).
- You may want to give in. But remember, you’re loved one’s safety may be at risk. Be firm, but be respectful. We all deserve dignity and respect.
As a caregiver or as a parent, have you ever had to be the brick wall?