Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year.
I love the leaves turning, and the fields of crops ready for harvest. And the Thanksgiving Holiday in November.
It reminds me how important giving thanks is – especially in things like elder care.
When I was caring for my elderly mother, I was often exhausted and stressed. I had caregiver stress and was close to burnout. My sister helped me by giving me some much-needed respite.
Including finding me jokes or telling funny stories about her family. Laughter was indeed the best medicine at that point.
In a moment of reflection, I started giving thanks for her. Her love and compassion meant more to me in those dark hours than I can ever express.
Amazingly, I found as I gave thanks my caregiver stress reduced. Initially only for a moment or two, but it was enough. And I started finding other things to be grateful for. Small things that might not mean much to anyone else. They helped. Leading to giving thanks for bigger things.
I felt a major shift in my energy. Giving thanks enabled me to change the negative circumstances into something positive.
One of the biggest problems with Alzheimers symptoms and other dementia symptoms is finding something—anything—positive.
How do you find something to be grateful for in dementia?
Loss of memory is tragic, and painful. And it can be a BIG challenge to find something positive.
When Mary looks at the news reports these days, she says she is grateful. Grateful her mother can no longer understand the news.
Mary’s mother would be very upset at the news. Growing up during The Great Depression and World War II, she always worried about—well—everything. The negative news and tragedies of today likely would be too much for Mary’s mother to handle.
And Mary’s mother was brought up to be a lady. She would find the often mean-spirited comments and arguments among so-called experts intolerable.
Mary says she’s grateful she still has her mother, even though her mother’s brain is affected by dementia.
What one thing can you be grateful for today?
Leave a comment on this post to share what one thing—no matter how small— you can be grateful for today. And get a free download 7 Tips for Reducing Caregiver Stress.
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Looking forward to reading your comments!
To your healthy and happy caregiving & knitting,
Ina Gilmore, M.D. (Retired)
“The Knitting Dr.”