Change…the only constant in life
by Gail Arno, CMC – ECM Director of Care Management
Change can mean so many different things in so many different ways to each of us. Some of us navigate the many changes in life with ease and comfort, nearly inviting change while others struggle mightily. Managing change is especially trying as we age, and the changes and challenges comes at us when we might feel the least physically and emotionally able to manage. Change can be at times a dirty word and yet it can also bring joy, happiness and a sense of rebirth and new opportunity to our lives.
Our clients often feel some discomfort and even added uncertainty with change, particularly when it comes to moving to a new home or location, meeting unfamiliar care support team members, taking newly prescribed medications, seeing different doctors and facing unknown surroundings. So much change can unnerve and overwhelm those who are already feeling anxiety, depression, and uncertainty in this ever-changing world.
Recently our clients, a wonderful and loving couple, faced some of the most challenging change our long-term partners face; separation due to illness and eventually the necessity to live in different locations due to their differing needs and their differing aging process. Sadly, the partner we chose years and even decades ago doesn’t always resemble the one we know now and so change becomes inevitable. Doing what is best for the individual and not the pair now differs from what had always worked so well for the both of them.
Our couple ended up living at different communities and we have worked diligently to make sure that they get to visit one another as frequently as possible. They continue to share laughs and meals and time together but as the visits end, they inevitably have to say their goodbyes and go their separate ways. Each being cared for to the level that suits and supports their own well-being and each making their way in a world unfamiliar to them. The connection is still there, the love and the devotion are still evident, but their lives have changed, and they are making the very best of a challenging situation.
With support, a little extra planning, and some good communication our couple is transitioning and making the best of a tough situation. Their circle of support has grown, their time together is all quality time and they get the chance to connect in a way they hadn’t connected before. Embracing the change and making the very best of a challenging situation is what the doctor ordered, and their new supportive friends and professionals are making things happen. It isn’t easy but the effort is worth the return when they reconnect each time and the smiles on their faces explode and the joy in their hearts is nearly visible to all who know them. While change is certainly a constant in life, it can actually be a very good thing.