February 18, 2022
Caregivers may not have the time or energy to set traditional goals for themselves, but repeating encouraging affirmations can be a simple yet powerful tool for self-encouragement.
Take a moment to sit in your favorite chair, read through this list, perhaps over a cup of coffee or tea, and remember to breathe! Consider printing it out or bookmarking this link to have it accessible. Special thanks to Dee Ransom for providing these affirmations.
1. I am equipped in many ways for this precious journey through my many life experiences. When I feel ill-equipped, let me be reminded that I can exercise my specific gifts and strengths in these new areas of our life experience, too. I may even develop new strengths and areas of resilience that will be instrumental in my eventual success in caregiving.
2. Let me recognize myself for those times that I am successful in helping my loved one feel calm and content, even when he/she cannot understand what is happening, actual or imagined. Situations change with Alzheimer’s. What seems like a really difficult situation at one time may disappear soon, if not permanently, at least for a while. My loved one will either forget or get involved in another, different feeling, understanding, activity or discussion. I will remind myself to remain calm, distract when possible, and thus, make this specific moment a calmer one.
3. Remember to breathe and know whatever is happening now will most likely pass and we may be in a better place another time, hopefully soon. Let me recall that those days and evenings that have often been challenging will not always be so. Some days and evenings seem somewhat “normal”. There is no way of knowing how the day, evening, or even next hour is going to go. My loved one has had some evenings when they are not as confused as he/she had been just recently, and I thought it would “be this way” from now on out…but it hasn’t been.
4. Let me remind myself that our days and evenings will most certainly get harder at some point and that is an expected course of this disease. I will be there, right beside him or her.
5. Let me remind myself to keep a healthy mind, body and spirit in order to take care of my loved one well throughout our precious journey. To allow myself permission to have fun, do enjoyable activities and laugh, relish some hours, whether alone or with a friend. I return to our journey lighter of spirit and happier of mood, both beneficial conditions to carry on and attend to the needs of my loved one.
6. Help me reach out to others who care and may not know how to help. Practice asking or sharing my need for a bit of help. People have asked me what they can do to help. Let them, invite them, ask them, thank them.
7. Watch and be vigilant from hour to hour, to see if I can determine “where we are going from here” and try to ease transitions. Practice answering to whomever my loved one is speaking, seeking, etc. and see how that helps, if it does. Keep it simple. Consider saying “I’m right here” and go see what is needed.
8. Do not hesitate to contact Alzheimer’s Orange County (or another support resource) as needed. They are as close as a phone call. Put the Helpline number on my phone contacts list.
9. Make appointments and visit local memory care communities in case of a possible or an eventual need. Interview the management and ask questions. Keep information for future reference.
10. Update and inform family and very close friends as conditions evolve so they are not surprised by our loved one’s conditions or my own needs.
Summary Declaration to Self: I believe I have been uniquely gifted and equipped with certain skill sets, qualities, characteristics, beliefs and strengths to carry us both through this precious journey.