After following the first caregiver tip – Learn as Much as You Can About Your Care Recipient’s Disease or Illness so you know what to Expect – this last tip brings together the other important tips to help caregivers survive, thrive and even find joy in caregiving.
Caregiver Tip #8 takes caregiving to new heights beyond The Golden Rule.
Avadian’s Diamond Tip for Caregivers
Care for your loved one the way you would want to be cared for IF you were living with the same disease or illness.
When someone lives with dementia, the Golden Rule is not enough.
Treating someone as you would want to be treated creates an unfair advantage.
Consider what it’s like living with a diagnosis of dementia.
One’s life is going about day to day, busy, involved in assorted activities. Sure, in the back of one’s mind there’s a concern about difficulties remembering or changes in behavior. Once suspicions are confirmed with a diagnosis it changes everything. It’s like being stamped on the forehead with an expiration date. Sure, we’re all going to die, but living with society’s perception of dementia makes it all the more aggravating. Society still stigmatizes this disease knowing people will forget important details and even close family members. Adding insult to a dementia diagnosis is that one ultimately will not able to care for oneself.
On the other side, family members try to digest and adapt to ways this diagnosis will change their lives.
If just retired, dreams of travel take on added urgency. In a way this is a good thing, while other plans are pushed aside as families learn how to live in a new reality. As a spouse, an equal partner will become increasingly dependent. Over time, this can cause resentment of the well-spouse who feels trapped despite stepping up to provide care. Struggling between a sense of loss and what remains creates a daily tug of war. If the parent is alone, one child often steps up to provide care. This is not an easy decision by any means and will change the course of one’s life.
I was the child who flew to Wisconsin to bring my father to my husband’s and my California home to care for him. Even with help from the community with support group and adult day services, my responsibilities included full-time work plus caregiving. I was exhausted and experiencing caregiver dementia and forgetting and growing disoriented just like my father. Lack of sleep due to his frequent wandering. Bouts of frustration and even anger after he caught the flu and had a dangerously high fever.
Somewhere along the line, I came upon a discovery.
What if I had dementia? How would I want to be cared for?
Once I realized we need to go beyond the Golden Rule, I began applying what I now call Avadian’s Diamond Tip for Caregivers. I was able to interact with my father who lived with Alzheimer’s with greater compassion and energy. Surprisingly, I was also gifted with a guilt-free, no-regrets approach to caregiving.
View the five-minute video, below by clicking in the box.
Try out the Diamond Tip for Caregiver’s, and then share your experience below.