The Joy of Caregiving: Refueling My Passion After a Decade
After caring for my mom for more than 10 years, I've learned some surprising things about caregiving. I have found that if you can focus on the positive aspects of caregiving and use it as an opportunity to grow, you can find new energy and enthusiasm in the work you do each day.
Here are a few ways I was able to continue to energize myself after all these years.
Focus on connections
As a caregiver, one of the most rewarding aspects is being able to build meaningful relationships with those you are caring for. Taking time to really listen and get to know your loved one on a deeper level helps foster connection and brings joy into your life as well as theirs.
By focusing on making connections, you will be able to create lasting memories that will bring back fond feelings when times are difficult.
Thank you, social media
As a millennial caregiver, I can't help but appreciate the ability of social media platforms to bring us all together to create positive, intentional interactions with one another.
When I see other caregivers share their stories and impart knowledge through life lessons learned, it brings a level of understanding that is both encouraging and empowering.
From finding community with like-minded individuals in similar situations to discovering powerful data-driven resources for those on this journey, social media gives us the opportunity to reach out and connect no matter how far away we may be from one another.
Remember to take time for yourself
Caregivers often put themselves last in line when it comes to taking care of themselves. But if we don’t prioritize our well-being, we won’t be able to give our best selves when caring for others.
Making sure that I took time out of my schedule for myself helped me to stay refreshed and energized so that I could continue providing excellent care long-term.
Whether it’s going out with friends or getting regular exercise, I make sure to take time out of my day just for myself!
This or That
Do you feel "selfish" when practicing self-care?
Caregiving can be exhausting work, and it is easy to become overwhelmed by the demands placed upon us as caregivers. Focusing on the positive aspects of your role, such as improving your loved one's quality of life or simply providing companionship, will help keep your spirits high even during tough times.
A positive attitude will also make other people around you feel more upbeat, which can help reduce stress levels in the home and create a better atmosphere overall.
The key components to caregiving
Creating meaningful relationships, taking time for myself, and staying positive are all key components that have helped me maintain my passion for caregiving over the past decade.
Even though there have been days when I felt drained from my responsibilities, I was always grateful for the opportunity because it opened up so many doors in my life and taught me valuable lessons about compassion and empathy that I wouldn't have otherwise learned.
Caregiving was an important season of my life; although sometimes challenging, it brought me great joy knowing that I made a difference in my mom's transitioning experience!
Which, if any, of the following most often trigger agitation in your loved one living with Alzheimer's disease?