As a caregiver you need to step back and view your situation. In order to support your loved one, you, as the caregiver, need support as well.
You give a helping hand and at times you will need a helping hand. When you give a helping hand to the person living with Alzheimer’s at some point in this disease that helping hand may cause opposition. When you push, they will push back. Pushing may result in a conversation such as: “No, you did not!”
“Yes, I did!”
“No, you did not!”
“Yes, I did!”
Does this sound familiar? Remember it takes two to tango or two to tangle.
Caregivers, quit trying to fight your way to right; this will totally wear you out. All caregivers have an agenda, know your agenda but do not show your agenda. Your loved one will not see the facts as you see them. As a caregiver you will have to change your course often. Someone has to change, not the person living with dementia; they are doing the best they can. You, the caregiver, will have to change because you are the one with the good brain.
This disease can be a beautiful dance like the tango, the waltz or the two step. This disease could also be a tangled up mess. Some days will be that beautiful dance and some days will be the tangled up mess. I cannot stress enough for you to be prepared; for you to build a network of support and to educate yourself with knowledge of this disease.
I would like to share a poem that a friend of mine shared with me. I have read it several times and find it comforting and I am certain that a caregiver will find it a comfort as well. It was written by Bonnie L. Mohr.
Life is not a race – but indeed a journey.
Be honest. Work Hard. Be Choosy.
Say “thank you”, “I love you”, and “great job” to someone each day.
Go to church, take time for prayer.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.
Let your handshake mean more that pen and paper.
Love your life and what you’ve been given, it is not accidental – search for your purpose
And do it as best you can.
Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you aspire to be. Laugh often.
Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them.
Some of the best things really are free.
Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul.
Take time for yourself – plan for longevity.
Recognize the special people you’ve been blessed to know.
Live for today, enjoy the moment.
We can learn so much from each other. Next week I will be discussing more detailed information about Alzheimer’s.
Hope you have a “Best Day Ever.”
Lesia Henderson is a Positive Approach to Care Independent Trainer and Sampson County Department of Aging Family Caregiver Support Specialist.