Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may have its unique challenges—but it also can have its positive, enriching moments. Love, trust, and a shared goal for better health can bring you closer to the loved one you are helping.
Staying positive is important—even when care giving becomes stressful or overwhelming. A positive attitude can help you cope, reduce stress, and make it easier to get through those tough days. It can even lead you to a greater sense of well-being and improved health.
To help you keep a positive outlook, consider the following:
First, accept the situation for what it is. Try not to focus on the way things used to be; try to accept the current situation and think of ways to make the best of it. For instance, while a medical condition may not improve, environments can be manipulated to make life more manageable and enjoyable for the elder and for you. Remember think positively and concentrate on making the present as best as you can.
Second, be proactive in your loved one’s care. Learn about your loved ones condition. Embrace the process of learning. Reading to expand your mind, developing a new skill, or even performing a routine task in a different way can be invigorating. Even though you may feel physically confined in your care giving role, there are no restrictions on how far your mind can go.
Third, talking with other caregivers can help. They understand what you are going through and may offer comfort and advice. Joining a support group can be an excellent way to meet and connect with other caregivers.
Fourth, it’s okay to ask for help with care giving. Staying positive may be tough when you are overwhelmed or exhausted. Speak with family and friends—their assistance may help lighten your to-do list. For example, if you know a family member or friend enjoys cooking, consider asking him or her to help prepare meals.
Focus on the positive—realize the valuable help that you are providing, and the close connection that you are building with the person in your care. Choosing a positive approach can go a long way toward helping you be a happier, healthier, and more effective caregiver. Caregivers absolutely need at least one “Me Day” a year to celebrate themselves, their accomplishments, the fact that they have positively impacted another life, and the fact that they have survived another year. So give yourself a positive attitude for just one day and see how it changes the way you feel and affects your loved one. Kindness is always the best policy. Remember, what goes around, comes around.
To join one of our support groups, feel free to call us at (561) 588-4545. Thank you for watching today’s Monday Mojo and we’ll see you again next week!