Be thankful and recall the times that have gone by and how you managed to overcome different situations. The residents who are the most easily distracted should join the group last, once entertainment has already begun. COPING WITH DIFFICULT PERFORMERS The residents keep taking my bongos, Shannon said, standing at my office door. I asked slowly, turning to face her. Yeah, I do, but then I need them back, and some of your patients have left the room with them! This wasn’t the first time that Shannon had complained to me about something that was really quite normal in dementia care. Here’s the thing, I said. All of my residents have dementia, and this is going to happen. If you give them something, they may walk off with it. It’s normal. Impostor syndrome is the feeling of never being good enough, the insecurities of being discovered to not knowing enough what you proclaim, even to the point of feeling like a complete fraud. Fortunately, these are feelings only and not fact. Yet, if you do know you are called to be a healer, then you may not feel like a fraud at all. But you may still have doubts. It is the self-doubt which dings your confidence and esteem that creates the battle of impostor syndrome. In fact, studies have found that it is the high achievers, the masters of their trade, the winners of the race who fight the feelings of not being good enough. The inability to internalize your achievement, knowledge, and call to action is the conditioning from very young, where you experienced or were told by someone you admired and trusted, that you are less competent than God called you to be. The truth is there is no end in progression. Life is not about getting to the end of the race then calling it a day.
Once the achievement has been made, then often the call to the next event is ringing in your ears. Other conservative measures can also be effective, including acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, chiropractic manipulation, and myofascial release. Central Sensitization Pain A Beginner’s Guide Background Central sensitization syndrome and microglial activation are very extensive topics that would take writing a article to fully discuss, but here’s a very simple overview. Pain is the body’s way of saying that something needs attention, like the oil light on a car’s dashboard. When that need is not being addressed (chronic pain, I suspect from almost any cause), the body can then amplify the alert (pain). It does this in the form of amplifying the pain both through signals in the spine and in the brain. Basically, the pain is trying to get your attention–just as if the oil light got brighter and more annoying as a car’s oil level dropped. In the brain, this occurs when brain cells called microglial cells become activated. Think about how strong you have become in overcoming all the difficulties that have come your way. Not everyone can fight the good fight the way you have. Having different psychological and physical conditions can be hard, and when you feel that you are depressed, even getting out of bed can seem like a hard thing. Once you can get over something big, you can recognize that you did it well, and you can celebrate. Now that you have a grateful mindset, you are ready to change the world, and one of the best ways to do that is by helping others. When you help others, you can improve your feelings and mood more than anything else. For example, when you help an elderly lady put her groceries in her car and move the cart away, you have done something to help someone else. It can increase your self-esteem and make you feel good. Helping others is also a form of therapy that helps you to make a positive impact in others’ lives while improving your overall emotional well-being.
When you develop a positive mindset, you can make a big difference in other people’s lives. It’s okay that this annoys you, but if you continue to have issues like this, I think you might want to consider giving up this gig. Maybe this isn’t a good fit. She paused, surprised that I’d say this. Oh, well, I guess . I guess it’s okay that they take the bongos for a little bit. I’ll get them back, she said, now focused on the fact that she didn’t want to lose a paying client. I did eventually fire this entertainer: she was a lot more drama than she was worth. Not everyone is good at dementia care. While the large majority of performers that I’ve hired in my career are excellent, kind, and patient with my residents, not everyone is. Working with people who are living with dementia requires a certain level of patience and understanding that not everyone possesses, and that is okay. Studies show that the more successful people are, the more they wrestle with what is termed as impostor syndrome. It is the most common resistance factor as you evolve, as every new turn is met with uncertainty and the unknown. You are learning along the way. But you are also taking with you every lesson, talent, and gift you have gained. And this familiarity is easily dismissed when something new is being asked of you. Life is the journey. The destination is a milestone and momentum to keep on going until we are told to stop. For some, one race is their purpose and then they are off onto a completely new adventure. Yet this is also a mission of purpose.
For others, it’s one race after another until their life expires. Think of these cells as the usually mild-mannered gardeners in the brain that tend to and nourish the brain cells. There are many things that can then make these mellow gardeners become very aggressive. For example, if the gardeners see bugs in the garden (think infections), something injuring their plants (think traumatic brain injury), or perceive another threat or need (think chronic pain). Then the now manic gardeners start weeding frantically, overstimulating the brain and the pain. Although this is a gross oversimplification, I hope you get the point. So how do you get these gardeners to become mellow again and settle the microglial activation? Address any infections (viral or antibiotic sensitive). Get rid of the pain triggers in the periphery. In fibromyalgia, this is mostly muscle pain from chronic shortening initially, followed by secondary nerve pain (including small fiber neuropathy). Use any in a number of medications or supplements to settle down central sensitization as well. For example, you could smile and look at yourself in the mirror and say to yourself, See, you are doing well! You are going to have a good day! Then you will immediately feel better. It allows you to be filled with positive vibes, which help you to keep going in your mind. The positive hero mindset can become even more powerful when you laugh. When you tell a joke and make others laugh or watch Robin Williams or some other comedian on Netflix and laugh your bottom off, you can instantly infuse a place with positivity and fight off those feelings of negativity. All of this will give you more positive attitudes and allow you to feel at your best. You should feel like you can be playful, glad, and thankful all at the same time. Being a positive hero can make you a light in the middle of the darkness that pervades this life.
As we have already stated, there is a lot to be sad and depressed about in this world; Don’t be afraid to remove someone from your performer list if they seem as though they don’t understand how to communicate with your residents. First, try educating them. Offer some constructive criticism and teach them about dementia and brain changes that they may notice. If this doesn’t work, a dementia care community probably is not a good fit for them. It is far better to fire someone who doesn’t understand dementia and your residents than to keep them on for the sake of having another performer. What Counts as a New Visitor or Entertainment? Chantel arrived, guitar under her arm. She was from a local volunteer organization that catered to seniors and had seen Ellen’s name and information online. Chantel greeted her as she walked through the door. I’m with In Service of Seniors. All are genuine and unique inspirations from above. As you take a second look at where you personally stand in your battle with impostor syndrome, explore where you are at with your success from deep within you. Have you internalized the happy stories you assisted with as a healer? Again, we grow to the extent we internalize our purpose and the achievement that comes with it. This occurs through the process of real-I-zation, which is the process of self-reflection, observation from within, and creative curiosity. Real-I-zation invites you to choose to be Self-aware versus defaulting to auto-pilot and coasting through life. Stopping for the moment to look at your reflection in the mirror is a great starting point to see your Self. As you engage in the present moment and stay awake, you can step out of the trance and react to whatever life throws at you. Rather, you can observe, take ownership in your part of the activity occurring, make a proactive choice as how to participate, and emerge with authenticity and wonder as you were made to be.