Published on: January 6, 2020
by The Advocate:
Find rest from wondering if you’re good enough or offering the “right” kind of care for your loved one. Find rest from comparing yourself to other caregivers or health care professionals. Rest from your fears, your anxieties and your despair.
Understand there is more than one way of perceiving, acting or responding. Trust your wisdom. All can be good.
Rest from limitations and widen your boundaries of knowledge and skills of caregiving. Rest from thinking you’re committed to just live for your loved one all the time.
Rest upon “awe” moments instead of “awful” moments. Actress Lily Tomlin says, “we need to practice awe-aerobics.” When we can be attentive and aware of precious present moments in caregiving — those moments that initiate a pause and savor the amazement of life — then filling ourselves with these opportunities of wonder and surprise can help us to be gentler amidst the journey, amidst our own fragility.
Your loved one with Alzheimer’s can smile or wink or say something surprisingly out of character and that is an “awe” moment, and a memory to revisit when the “awful” moments arise.
Rekindle your spirit. Take time just to rest and feel. Lean on God or a higher power for comfort, solace and strength. Keep developing a sense of spirituality; your sense of self.
Quieting the mind and spirit can reap great interior rewards such as feelings of peace and hope.
Acknowledging your feelings and even giving permission to yourself to feel the way you do can ease those emotions of guilt,
resentment, anxiety or even anger that may reside in the depths of your being. Speak interior words of comfort and assurance and allow yourself to rest in the fact that you are doing the best you can, and moreover, know that your loved one appreciates all you do even though those words of gratitude may never be spoken.
Find rest and support in the unexpectedness of life and the Alzheimer’s journey. Be attentive to the people in your life who nurture you and are just present with you in your time of need. Savor those blessings of family and friends, of health care professionals, physicians, nurses, all those who join to help you find rest and reassurance in caring for your loved one.
Practice acceptance, give your tiring spirit new energy, and discover newfound experiences for yourself and your loved one.
Although it’s great to celebrate the big achievements, it’s also important to celebrate the small wins.
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