May 1, 2016

Getting Out of the House Requires Rehearsal

Solving unexpected problems when I leave home is a buzz kill.  Now that I am a stroke survivor, community outings go much better if I check out the environment ahead of time.  If you cannot go on a trial run yourself, send a caregiver who can visualize solutions that will make your trip easier.  I am more confident and relaxed when I know I will not be startled by a nasty surprise. 

Here is an example of how rehearsal pays off.  I volunteered to sell raffle tickets for a fund raising event at my church.  I already knew how far handicapped parking is from the front door and how accessible the bathroom is.  The supplies I needed were stored downstairs where I could not get them.  I arrived early to: (1) see if there were barriers blocking access to where I would sit,
(2) give someone time to get the supplies for me, and (3) silently rehearse what I would say when people came to buy tickets.  Saying the same thing over and over made my word-finding problem disappear.  I enjoyed talking to people, ate a little food, listened to live music, and collected over $900 for my church.  Having fun and feeling useful are great antidotes to depression.

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