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.’