Dementia, notes to remember

By Lesia R. Henderson - Contributing columnist
Lesia Henderson -

Today I would like to share some caregiver tips. A great resource for families living with Alzheimer’s disease is Alzheimer’s North Carolina, ( or (1-800-228-8738). Most of the tips I will be sharing today are given by this organization.

Caregivers, you face many challenges each day. Giving you tips and encouragement will help in stressful times. Some caregivers are just beginning with being a caregiver and others are well in years of giving care. Regardless of what stage you are in these tips will be beneficial at some point. According to Alzheimer’s NC, “As Caregivers you Never argue, Instead agree; Never reason, Instead divert; Never shame, Instead distract; Never say “remember?, Instead reminisce; Never say “I told you….”, Instead repeat and regroup; Never say “You can’t…..”, Instead find out what they can do; Never command or demand, Instead ask and model; Never condescend, Instead encourage and praise; and Never force, Instead reinforce.”

These are The Ten Absolutes of Caregiving and given as a courtesy by You may want to go over the above tips as it will take some time to truly understand and apply. As a caregiver you may experience some “Caregiver Guilt”. Here are 10 tips to help you say goodbye to that guilt; these suggested tips are given by Alexis Abramson, PH.D.

  • Acknowledge your feelings. It’s important to understand that feelings of anger and resentment are not uncommon when you are a caregiver.
  • Think quality, not quantity. If you ‘re feeling guilty that you aren’t spending enough time with your aging loved ones, think of how you can improve the quality of your time together.
  • Establish priorities. While no one has the time or energy to do everything for everybody, you must find time and energy to do the things that are most important to you.
  • Set limits. If your loved ones constant demands are running you ragged decide and clearly acknowledge what you’re willing to do for them.
  • Redefine your concept of caring. If you find it difficult to provide loving, “hands-on” care for your parent or loved one, don’t feel guilty, simply think of other tangible ways you can help in providing for their care. Act from love, not from a sense of debt. If you think of caring for an aging loved one as repayment for all she or he has done for you, you’ll always end up in the red.
  • Forgive and seek forgiveness. If your parent was unkind or uncaring when you were a child, now is the time to forgive, even if you truly feel he or she doesn’t deserve it.
  • Foster their independence. Don’t feel guilty for not doing things for your loved one that they could be doing for themselves.
  • Face the fact. Despite how much you want to help, sometimes your aging relative needs round the clock care and constant supervision that you can’t provide.
  • Don’t succumb to peer pressure. Acknowledge, but don’t be unduly influenced by the advice you get form friends and coworkers.
  • Do what your heart tells you is best and what your circumstances permit.

Another resource for you caregivers is This site will be a wealth of information for all caregivers on any level. Caregivers you are amazing and what you do is truly remarkable.

I encourage all caregivers to join us at the Dementia Education and Alzheimer’s support group meeting the second Tuesday of each month at the Sampson County Department of Aging. Please contact me if you need additional information at [email protected] or 910-592-4653. Remember to always take care of yourself first, you must take the oxygen and then you will be able to care for others. Hope you have a “Best Day Ever”.

Lesia Henderson Henderson
Tips to help ease caregiver stress

By Lesia R. Henderson

Contributing columnist

Lesia Henderson is a Positive Approach to Care Independent Trainer and Sampson County Department of Aging Family Caregiver Support Specialist.

Lesia Henderson is a Positive Approach to Care Independent Trainer and Sampson County Department of Aging Family Caregiver Support Specialist.