…In the back of my mind was a nifty phrase, “change the channel” I’d heard on Canada AM, a morning TV program. The subject was not about pushing a button on the remote; it was switching one line of thought to another. Astute reporters and commentators are keenly aware of the flow of conversation in live broadcasts. Participants carry along enthusiastically, until there’s an inadvertent slip of the tongue and smiles go south. I tried to avoid getting caught up in chitchat and missing subtle signs of any uneasiness on Tony’s part. Then, a disconcerting jolt, and sometimes it was too late to jam on the brakes.
“Changing the channel” became an important tactic for me when teetering on the edge of mayhem, keeping the conversation on the right track is essential to avoid confrontation. The strategy is a lifesaver for anyone providing care to a loved one suffering from dementia. It’s akin to peering far ahead when driving at night, keenly alert to a possible incident. I knew that the best way to circumvent discord was by changing channels rather than pressing the mute button.