Finding Joy in the Alzheimer’s Storm

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain." ⁠Have you guys ever heard of that quote? Well, to be honest, these days, I couldn't agree with it more.

Lately, life feels like monsoon season, with little to no sunlight around however in spite of my mom progressing to the final stages of Alzheimer's, your girl is doing her best to find joy and get this dance on even in life's puddles.⁠⁠

The importance of taking care of yourself as a caregiver

In the past few years, I have been on a journey of practicing mindfulness and finding joy no matter how difficult things seem to be.

In addition to that, I have had a lot of experience caring for a parent - my mom - with Alzheimer's which has taught me some lessons about taking care of myself even when my mom is no longer able to do so herself. With this being said, here are 3 important reminders about what it means to take care of yourself as a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's.

It's OKAY to be unsure of the future

A few months ago, my mom went from being active at home to being on hospice at home because of her 24/7 care needs.

While this is hard for me (and you) to hear, what's important is acknowledging the change and doing your best to take care of yourself the way you need to be taken care of.

Remember, no matter what changes you experience in life, caring for yourself will always be the best thing you can do no matter how difficult things may seem. ⁠In other words, no matter how much you know or don't know, no one else is in the driver's seat except you.

It's OKAY to ask for help no matter how independent you are

For almost all of my life, I was an independent woman who knew no boundaries. While this meant that I got things done efficiently and effectively, caring for someone with Alzheimer's taught me the importance of asking for help when it comes down to it.

For example, no matter how self-sufficient I felt - no one can do this by themselves. To help me come to terms with the fact that it's no longer possible for me to care for my mom alone, I have had to invite professional caregivers into my home who have taught me how to manage her medications and schedule her activities while respecting our wishes.⁠⁠

It's OKAY to cry no matter how strong you are

Even though I am no longer a stranger when it comes down to crying over the things in life that hurt the most, sometimes being a caregiver makes everything feel so much harder.

While I try not to get too overwhelmed during this time, what helps me get through the "storm" is remembering that no matter how strong I may be, no one can deal with this alone.⁠⁠

Taking care through Alzheimer's

So while dancing in the rain isn't always easy for me, what helps me get through the storm despite my mom's progression, is that life is about giving yourself permission to feel your feelings! Remember that no matter how difficult it seems or has been, no other person will ever care about your needs as much as YOU do.

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