How I can maintain a positive and supportive attitude as a caregiver?

Follow
Share

My aunt's memory & common sense are 40% lost & is defensive. She's in her late 80's and I moved into her one bedroom apartment about 2 months ago. We are both female. I learned that her memory and her ability to make sense of things works at about 55% capacity. Her emotional level is very childlike and other times she's fine. She also speaks like a child about 40% of the time. She also can get confused very easily, and often when we are walking about in familiar areas, can't figure out where she is, or even if she's in her own town. I end up repeating myself many times. When I ask her to make changes for sanitation reasons that can affect her/our health, she is usually defensive. Sometimes her tone is rude and she say things that are out in left field.

I'm trying my best to remain positive and supportive, but lately have been struggling with impatience. I could really use some help with any suggestions on things I can say to myself to adapt a better understanding for this situation so that my patience remains intact. My goal is to have an attitude toward her that is pleasant, respectful, supportive, understanding and nice to be around, as much as humanly possible.

What phrases do you tell yourself to keep up a great attitude to keep you pleasant?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
15

Answers

Show:
I have no answers as I am struggling to remain positive and upbeat myself, but I do find it helpful to read what others are going through and how they handle things.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Sometimes I get in the car, turn on the radio, find a song I love, blast the music and sing my heart out.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Mumbling alot here too. Instead of expecting nothing, I have changed my expectations.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Even with that - I have to watch myself constantly to make sure my response is .. expect nothing. I find my initial response is to mumble not nice things to myself which is stupid. The frustrating thing is it will not get easier. So...I need to work harder . . not to expect anything
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Italnmama, that is so true, and has been my personal experience also. Exactly down to the part where it was my sister who helped me realize it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My sister really helped me with this one . . stop expecting anything. I would get very frustrated with my husband for not being able to do what I perceived as a simple thing. My expectation and his failure to meet them were making me unkind. When I was able to let that go - it took the pressure of me. It is hard and I still have to be careful. But not expecting anything . . really helps.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Ah okay, gotcha, Sendme2help. I had searched for that particular article.

And thanks again for more helpful suggestions, I really do appreciate it! I started reading some articles, and will continue to self-educate.

Yes, I'm committed to self-care, so I do step back emotionally and create space when I need it. I'm committed to processing my emotions and finding the best way to handle things where I can remain healthy. She still does a great job of caring for herself in many ways which gives us both the time and space to adjust to our new living arrangement and to each other. So, things are very do-able right now.

Thanks again, for all your great suggestions! Wishing you continued peace and success with your caretaking and those you care for.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Randall555. The advice to remember' It's the disease, not her' runs throughout the aging care website. Scroll to the top of this page, and enter: "It's the disease, not her" in the search bar.
On July 2, a question was asked, and answered: "My mother has Alzheimer's and it effects her temperament", asked by susang1956. You can also enter those words into the search bar. You seem so bright and eager for researching and making it work.
When it gets too much to handle for you, go to 'caregiver burnout' threads by entering those words into the search bar. You will do fine, and when it becomes too emotional, take a step back, remember, it's not you, it's the disease; it's not her talking to you that way, it's the disease.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hi Sendme2help. That sounds like a great article to read, but I can't find it. Do you have a link or can you tell me the area where I can look for it? Also, when I realized she had dementia, that changed everything. I was able to put things into perspective by accepting that this was a disease that influences her, and was able to make better sense of the situation.

Yes, we are in the process of getting an accurate diagnosis for her. My aunt is newly moved here so this is also a new doctor. I had a private appointment with her (female doctor) who agreed that it's best she not live alone, but to honor it if she wants to. She asked us to come in together yesterday for our first appointment together, and we've begun the process of legal work and sharing medical information with me as her caregiver. At our next appointment, she'll be giving my Aunt a memory test which I hope will be the MMSE. I like her doctor who is bright and straightforward, and if she doesn't directly address dementia with my Aunt, then I'll schedule another separate appointment with her to have a candid talk.\

Thank you again, for your great suggestion and concern. I do appreciate it.
Wishing you very well!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hello freqflyer, and thank you for your suggestion on what to read. I'm finding helpful articles there.

Yes, my aunt wanted me to take the bedroom which has also become my office. She prefers the living room sofa bed so she can watch TV until she sleeps and often wake earlier than I do to make her breakfast. This arrangement is great, so I work all day in the bedroom and can close my door for privacy when I want to. I also leave whenever I want or need to take care of business or take breaks. I'm determined on providing excellent self-care for myself, especially since she's spoken of hiring someone to see after when the time comes so I can have my life, as she puts it.

Aging and dementia are a part of life. And although I'm new at this, I believe that as long as I adopt the right attitudes and understandings, and am vigilant about self-care, that the both of us will have the best life that we can manage under the circumstances. I believe that I can learn a lot through caring for my Aunt and hope that she will feel all the better for my seeing after her.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions