Monday, May 18, 2020

Self-Care 1

Taking care of someone with Dementia creates a lot of strong feelings.

If you're a caregiver living in the same home with your Loved One, I can only imagine the range of feelings is incredibly intense.

Through our own experiences and from my conversations with others, many caregivers and family members feel:
  • worry
  • anxiety
  • fear 
  • grief
  • love
  • joy
  • panic
  • peace
  • helplessness
  • loneliness
  • exhaustion
  • and so many more
Through those conversations, it appears that the negative emotions often overwhelm the positive emotions, especially when the caregiver is worn out.

So, how do we create some easy self-care?

For today let's focus on online ideas because we know that some people never have a chance to get out and about.
  • Teepa Snow videos. She is brilliant and considered the leading expert on Dementia for a very good reason
  • my own Quick Tips videos
  • if you're on social media, you can check to see if there on support groups. Read the rules carefully to ensure you're going to feel safe in posting. Tread carefully at the beginning because not all online groups are created equally!
  • check out the Alzheimer's sites for ideas to help you cope
  • meditation apps and exercises
    • I've used Calm and Triangle breathing successfully with students at school
    • there are lots of options out there, keep looking until you find one that works for you
How about you? What other online supports do you use? Any experience with meditation apps?

Monday, May 4, 2020

To Celebrate or Not To Celebrate?

There are many different thoughts as to how to celebrate special days with our Loved Ones.

Each person is unique and many different factors will go into the decisions.
  • what stage is your Loved One at?
  • how aware are they of the day/date/time of year?
  • will they know about the day if you don't mention/celebrate it?
  • will the day bring good or bad memories?
  • will the day trigger thoughts about dead friends/relatives who Loved One wants to celebrate with?
One Mother's Day, Lizzie became very upset about not having ordered flowers for her mother and mother-in-law. Her mom had died when Lizzie was a teen, her mother-in-law had died more than 30 years before.

Did the good memories and the fun times we had that day out-balance the bad ones?


Will they this year?
Who knows?

All we can do, is look at the issue from all angles and make what we think is the best decision.
Then cross our fingers and hope for the best!

Of course, if your Loved One (like Lizzie) is in a Nursing Home, this year will be very different. Because the staff at the home is amazing, we know we'll be able to video chat with Lizzie on Mother's Day, but we won't be able to bring her flowers and chocolates and her other favourites. We'll make up for it later but we wonder how this will affect her.

How about you? What do you do for celebration days like Mother's or Father's Day? Are your routines going to be disrupted by COVID-19 as well?