During my days at AT&T/Lucent, I did community service projects and one that I really liked was playing ball with the blind. The game is called “Beep Ball” and played like the game of softball. All the seeing wore a blindfold to make it fair, but it still was not a fair game. Why, you asked, because they knew what they were doing and could play and we didn’t have a clue. It was lots of fun for them to hear us running around confused and helpless. I can say I learned a lot that day about myself and others and those that participated with us did too. I learned a lot from the blind and I am glad because after dad’s stroke it made me a stronger person to assist him and mom.
While I was with the Lucent, I would bring home simple projects the pioneers were working on with the blind, so I could get dad involved, give mom a few moments to herself while keeping dad busy and help him feel useful again. Remember it is how you word things to if you don’t want any complaints. Playing checkers was one of the games we worked on with him, but sometimes from the type of stroke he had we would have to pick another day.
Therapy was good for dad as long as you had a variety. Sometimes families don’t understand the loved one you are caring for needs to have that interaction rather just sitting and being waited on all day. Find that positive with your loved one. If you are the family caregiver make notes of their reactions to the different types of activities you have provided for them and note the good and bad. An activity could be as simple as taking them for a ride in the car and they have seeing issues describe what you see so they can relate. Dad and I would ride for hours while I described trees, birds, cars, houses, etc. I would also explain where we were and how it related to him so he could associate places with his memory.
Reach out and touch someone means a lot if you are sitting in a world of darkness after being able to see for many years. Fear becomes a big part of their life, so extend that hand of love to them and guide them as you would want to be guided. It will build a stronger bond plus add that extra trust for them to you.
Remember like playing the Beep Ball put yourself in your loved one’s place and then it will be easy for you to decide your direction.
Loving daughter always,