Caregiver Lessons I’ve learned Over The Years!
1. Realize you cannot control everything, really not much of anything, except how you react to things around you.
2. A person with Alzheimer’s has lost their ability to choose how to engage others. Their reactions are not meant as a personal attack against others. In fact it is never about us. Reactions are based on circumstances, conditions, and perceptions no matter who we are.
3. The PRIDE Principal™ –Preserve, Respect, Independence, Dignity for Everyone, everyday.
4. Make a checklist of tasks to do, than make a list of how each task makes you feel… Be honest…Oh what you will find out about yourself! It can hurt sometimes, but you must be honest to move forward
5. Remember, Done Is Better Than Perfect! Don’t try to do it all yourself.
6. Make Opportunities out of Obstacles. It’s ok to ask for help.
7. When caring for someone you always must start and end with yourself.
8. Look through a child’s eyes.
9. Remove your ego.
10. Embrace the child they have become.
11. We are our own worst enemy – Don’t listen to the Inner Critic, especially when exhausted!
12. Schedules, consistencies, and patterns set up early can be a valuable tool as the disease progresses.
13. Remember, a name isn’t important. It’s our connections that count.
14. Negative Energy spreads just as fast when you are caregiving, even when you think they do not have a clue!
15. Old Habits are hard to break, even with an Alzheimer’s patient.
16. Doing a task doesn’t mean you solved the problem.
17. Tread lightly when looking to blame others or yourself. In the long run it does more harm than good. Try to look for the reason and then see what changes can be made if any to correct the outcome.
18. Modeling a behavior to a person with Alzheimer’s disease is simple and can be very effective.
19. Quality of Life is an issue you will most likely address many times on many levels. Keep in mind there are rules and regulations that must be followed, and those that just have to be stated and noted for the governing agencies.
20. Focus on increasing the simple quality of life issues that arise in everyday living.
Live To Be PLLAFULL – Allows you to visit out of LOVE, not guilt.
Powerful Last Lessons of: Acceptance Forgiveness Unconditional Love and Letting go.
21. Breathe deeply, count to 10 before you react when you’re feeling pushed to your limit.
22. When you live life with the compassion and passion, you will be able to create remarkable moments and discover the pure goodness within yourself and others as you connect on a new level of consciousness.
23. Lead by example to show others the way.
24. Hospice is something to be embraced, not pushed away.
25. Alzheimer’s disease is like a cat with nine lives. Each life being different from the last, but each offering much love and comfort. Love is so simple, uncomplicated, and lives within each of us.
26. When you understand where the anger comes from, then and only then can you change your approach and be effective in reducing combative behaviors.
27. Be open to evaluating your relationship and what love is and means.
28. Their Social Filters are Gone – They do not have the ability to see all the different angles to a situation anymore. Nor do they care. Their response can be like tunnel vision. There is only one source of light and it is straight ahead. It is simple and innocent.
29. It is important to understand and recognize the concept of the Bald Chicken. Refer to the story for details.
30. Learn to love on many levels.
31. How you choose to look at the world, how you choose to live your life will determine the memories you create not only for you, but others in your life.
32. That every now and then it’s time to reevaluate having an outlet to process this disease with others in a safe environment, with caregiver peers at An Alzheimer’s Support Group.
33. Falling into old patterns of setting expectations of a person with Alzheimer’s disease can be frustrating for all. Remember to meet them where they are.
34. Remember Your Memory Chip ™ important rules when caring for someone. Focus on is the person you are caring for – SAFE, HAPPY, and PAINFREE. It’s amazing how things that bothered you before just won’t anymore!
35. Watch for signs that you or others are trying to FREEZE FRAME someone into being who you were comfortable with in the past. Remember, all of our lives are consistently changing. We have no right to move forward in our own life and try to make another person stand still in time, just because we are not comfortable dealing with change.
36. Realize there is a big difference between protecting someone’s dignity and protecting our own ego!
37. HYBRID CAREGIVERS are a gift to both the patient and us. CAR EGIVERS stands for Conscience Awakening of Relationships, and Emotional Givers