Caregivers may not have the opportunity to send out the year 2013 or welcome in the year 2014; however they do have the time to stop and give the person they care for a hug and say ‘Happy New Year’. We tend to forget that the people we care for want to be a part of these celebrations too; even when it would seem they are unaware of the holiday.
We as people are not totally aware of what the brain and five senses do know at different points in an illness. Certainly there are test that can be done, and procedures which seem to signify an increase or decrease in the perceptions we have. The truth is however, there is little of our brain we do know and understand. There are many well-known scientists and theologians on opposite sides of the coin regarding most of this.
So perhaps for our everyday purposes we should take our tips from the first responders and pledge to error on the side of caution. Maybe we should act and treat our charges as if they are totally alert and present for all conversations and visits. We cannot change a missed opportunity so let’s not risk a missed opportunity. Always giving a hug and a salutation is a way to acknowledge the presence of a person, what a small amount of time and respect that is for a life well lived.