Caring for a family member is emotionally taxing, especially in the case of memory loss. You can reduce your distress by concentrating on the present moment, the here and now, and by thinking of the glass as half full.
Today Is THE Day
Remember to observe yourself as you are in your caretaking role. Identify your thoughts. Remember that “should’s” and “only’s” try to rewrite your past, while “I wants” and “What if’s” focus on the future. Both prompt anxiety and depression. Be here now!
It Is What It Is
It is important to acknowledge your negative feelings without judging yourself. Accept what is. Life is a series of moments. What’s happening now is a done deal. Simply allow it, and don’t fight it in your mind, and you’ll be less stressed.
Concentrate on the Power of Positive Thinking
Focus on the present. Stay out of the past and future in your thinking. Take a few deep breaths. Shift your attention to create room for something positive right now. Think of something that engages one of your senses: the taste of your coffee, the color of the sky, or the music on the radio.
Seek Out Support from Friends & Professionals
Repeat as needed to refresh your outlook! And remember, you don’t have to manage this alone. Reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association and join one of their excellent support groups. Speak to a trusted friend. Call a Geriatric Care Manager. Dementia is not a one person play!
Lois Young-Tulin, PhD, is an Assistant Geriatric Care Manager at Elder Connections