Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Good Grief Living well with Dementia Silver Linings Stress

Understanding Human Behaviour

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Once again we have been hit by a natural disaster in the province where I live. British Columbia Canada for those that don’t know, was hit we a heat dome, and then devastating forest fires this summer. We are now in fall heading for winter and have been hit with a storm system that has brought unprecedented rain fall, so after all the drought and heat, the unusually high rains saw our grounds give way to extreme slides and wash outs, rivers and streams flooding, highways cut off, train tracks washed away. People trapped between washouts, the loss of life, the emergency continues. It is a time of great sadness seeing all this happen to the province, I was born and raised here, I love this province. I hate seeing people hurting, scared and wondering what next and when will it end. Whether you are impacted directly or indirectly, it is stressful and causes anxiety and fear for many. We likely will never fully understand humans and the behaviours seen, but we can at least remember, when things are difficult, and people are stressed, tired, scared and anxious they often exhibit and do things in ways they normally would not. We must remember instead of responding with anger we need to show understanding and patience.

I am praying people will remain kind. I have heard and seen much of people pointing fingers trying to look to blame, but that is wasted energy. Mother Nature doesn’t give a lot of notice, and she loves to somehow deal us with more than we were expecting. Like we somehow have control. Mother Nature, gives warnings, like we were notified for many days that this storm was coming, so we should have been as prepared as possible, then when it hits and hits hard like this storm, we at least were prepared as we could be. Humans have this burning need to believe we can and should control everything, Mother Nature reminds us we are not in control of all things. It is always hard to watch the aftermath of Natures wrath, at best we need to show extra kindness, offer help where we can, be extra patient. We are a resilient bunch here, we live where we can have extreme conditions, but the things we are seeing know are getting worse that the things we have seen in the past, larger scale, this is climate change, many don’t want to admit its real or happening, but each and everyone of us have a role in it. I believe living here we should never venture out even for what we would think is shorter trips like 3 or 4 hours, without our emergency kits, winter kits, summer kits, depending on the season. We live in a province of difficult terrain, with many miles of nothing in between and if things happen we can get stranded, a four hour trip can quickly become a day or two or more. I have travelled much across this province in all seasons, I was taught growing up to be prepared, yes lots think its a pain in the butt to put these things together, but get stranded just once and you soon realize how important it is. I have heard people say why didn’t they do more if they new the storm was coming, why is taking, so much time to get to people, yet things mobilized and happened as quickly as it was safe to do so. The work continues, and as much as we want ( them) to do something or more, we also all have a big roll to play. We need to be better prepared, have enough supplies at home to get by for a week or two, have emergency candles, water, etc. On the other side of things, this year has shown so much of the goodness that still exists, people pulling together to help however they can, it helps restore ones faith in mankind, when we are inundated with all hate, violence, racism and things we hear about every day. It keeps me hopeful of brighter days ahead.

I sat down last night and cried for our people, our province, our country, this year feels so much more challenging than last year, the year isn’t over yet, winter isn’t even here yet, but I know people here now how to survive, these are challenging times, its hard to see our province hurting and being damaged, its hard to see how people are struggling, hard to now your loved ones are being directly impacted.

I wonder at times, when people think someone should be doing more how prepared are we all for the likely hood that one day our whole communication systems could be impacted. When the internet goes down wide scale, when bank cards don’t work, automation is great until it isn’t, I worry we are so used to just being able to access anything and everything that we are losing the ability to survive as people did in the past. Progress is great, technology is great, but it does not come with out a cost, and perhaps the biggest is the loss of basic life skills, that far too many don’t have and aren’t taught. Life skills, survival skills, these are things we should be teaching in our schools, yes computer classes are important in this day and age, but life skills are invaluable no matter how much progress is made in this world. I hope that this year has instilled in all of us a desire to know and learn more of those skills.

By WWW.Chrissy's

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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