Dear Dharma,

This is sort of a sensitive question…. But I have a really close relationship with my gramma. I used to be able to tell her anything and everything, but now as she is getting older she doesn’t seem to be able to focus on stories I’m telling her, interrupting with irrelevant topics. She’s starting to lie about little things like what she’s been eating or if she’s been exercising.

I understand that this is part of her getting older and I’ve been in denial about it. How do I prepare for the inevitable?

A Girl and her Gramma

Dear Girl,

I hate to sound glib about a topic that I recognize as sensitive, but my dear Girl, the only way to prepare for the inevitable is to prepare for the inevitable.

Start reading up on some of the changes you can expect as people age. Google some of the specific items you’ve mentioned above.  If you feel there are any actual health risks, see if you can chat with her family doctor about your concerns.

The more familiar you become with what you can anticipate, the less frightening and threatening it will become.  In fact, it will start to feel “expected” and you won’t feel as much a victim to it if you see these things coming.

It’s important for you to make this as much about her as it is about you.  By that I mean, these are changes that are happening to her … you are simply experiencing the collateral damage of those changes – and when I say “simply” I’m not implying there’s anything simple about it at all…

Spend time with her and be patient.  She’s not interrupting with irrelevant topics to be annoying; it’s just where her mind is taking her.  And the lying about the little things could easily be driven by fear. Talk with her and try to alleviate some of that for her… The less things are discussed, the scarier they become, right?

You’ve still got good times ahead, Girl, they might just look a little bit differently than they used to.



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