Posted on Sep 25, 2012
We’re such social creatures, aren’t we? A hug at the right time or an unexpected smile can brighten a bad day. Being isolated in time-out is a child’s worst enemy. And a friend taking time out of their busy schedule to have a genuine conversation can mean the world.
When dementia sets in, this social nature doesn’t go away, even if your loved one doesn’t respond the same way they once did. Verbal reactions may decline, but the same love, affection, warmth and care make life meaningful. That supportive care is also essential to the well-being of people who have dementia or Alzheimer’s.
People with Alzheimer’s or dementia also tend to reflect the mood, tone and attitude of their caregivers or people around them. So, when you find yourself on the verge of a negative reaction (it’s inevitable – we’re only human, after all!), take a deep breath and reevaluate.
As author Charles Swindoll once said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” As caregivers, shifting to a “Can Do” perspective – focusing on what you’re loved one is able to do, rather than his or her limitations – can help keep that relationship warm and encouraging.
Here are a few ways you can intentionally put that “can do” lens on life:
There is so much a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia can do, so keep that in the forefront of your mind and adjust as you need to. You may be pleasantly surprised by the activities and conversations you have if you keep a “Can Do” approach.
How do you “reset” that “Can Do” perspective when having a tough day?