Dementia: A Caregivers’ Prayer

Today is the start of an important week in my role as Care Partner to Maureen.  On Saturday I aim to be on my way to see family.  I am hoping that arrangements are in hand for Maureen to be well cared for while I get to  see my folks, and have much needed break.

It has not been easy to secure respite in the past.  So I thought it a good time to reflect on the sentiments of  the Caregiver’s Prayer, that follows.  I just hope, and pray, that this time my plans are not frustrated by the inability of others to make the necessary arrangements.  I think that three weeks is a reasonable amount of notice, for our social worker, to arrange around the clock care for Maureen.

The following passages are reproduced from the Alz Live Newsletter.: 

‘There’s a neat little 12-step “prayer,” that is the Mother’s Little Helper of caregiving.

It pops up on websites and blogs; people pass it along to their friends who are looking after someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Fridge-worthy? It might be. It was written by Carol J. Farran, DNSc, RN, and Eleanore Keane-Hagerty, MA, in 1989 and printed in The American Journal of Alzheimer”s Care and Related Disorders & Research’.

12 Steps for Caregivers

Although I cannot control the disease process, I need to remember I can control many aspects of how it affects me and my relative. I need to:

  • Take care of myself so that I can continue doing the things that are most important.
  • Simplify my lifestyle so that my time and energy are available for things that are really important at this time.
  • Cultivate the gift of allowing others to help me, because caring for my relative is too big a job to be done by one person.
  • Take one day at a time rather than worry about what may or may not happen in the future.
  • Structure my day, because a consistent schedule makes life easier for me and my relative.
  • Have a sense of humor, because laughter helps to put things in a more positive perspective.
  • Remember that my relative is not being “difficult” on purpose, rather that his/her behavior and emotions are distorted by the illness.
  • Focus on and enjoy what my relative can still do rather than constantly lament over what is gone.
  • Increasingly depend upon other relationships for love and support.
  • Frequently remind myself that I am doing the best that I can at this very moment.
  • Draw upon the Higher Power, which I believe is available to me.’
Reprinted from The American Journal of Alzheimer”s Care and Related Disorders & Research, November/December, 1989, 4(6), 38-41.
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About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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2 Responses to Dementia: A Caregivers’ Prayer

  1. I’m really hoping everything comes together successfully for your upcoming trip.

    Like

  2. Remember Me says:

    It will and it may not be a time to stick to Queensbury Rules.

    Like

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