As human beings we are typically emotionally driven and yet emotionally responsive when reacting to life’s challenges. Having a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s creates an added stack of challenges that others may not ever experience in a lifetime. The article discusses the challenges Ellen Gerst (the author) faced while managing her mom’s dementia. As issues arose, she started to quite literally question her own cognitive abilities including her memory. She addresses some key factors to keep in mind when faced with a similar role as a caregiver for a dementia/Alzheimer’s patient. Ellen articulates that responding from a reflective standpoint is more beneficial than responding from an emotional or “reflexive” standpoint in moments of crisis. Additionally, she iterates to the reader that it’s important to stay grounded in yourself and set the emotional space of frustrations aside. To be beneficial in the caregiver role, she suggests you must not lose sight of your OWN emotions. It’s important to consistently (yet constantly) remind yourself that the patient has lost their ability (or is losing) to reason logically, to remember, and for them, there’s little choice available on how THEY react. As a caregiver, it’s your job to honor your emotions, process and move on.
- 1It is important not to get caught up in the patients delusions and paranoia.
- 2It’s important to remember you are not alone in this struggle, take time to express your feelings to avoid undue stress.
- 3Think calmly and rationally about problems rather than reflexively reacting to them.
See the original at: https://www.alzheimers.net/11-28-14-retaining-sanity-as-caregiver/
Do you need help in the area of Dementia Care? Check out this available resource: Fit Minds Family Caregiver Program