7 Tips for Caregivers

When life unravels into Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s important for caregivers to carry survival tools. Over the next few weeks, we’ll examine some of these tools and ways that caregivers might implement them. Today, we’ll look at 7 tips that Reverend G might offer caregivers to keep them in hope and sanity.

  1. Talk to Me – it’s easy to ignore someone who has Alzheimer’s. Since they can’t always respond, we sometimes forget they’re even in the room. We need to look at our loved ones, smile and talk to them.
  2. Don’t Argue with Me – when memory loss or paranoia sets in, it’s easy to get into a debate. But arguing with an Alzheimer’s victim is pointless. Reverend G would remind us to ask questions instead. Questions help our loved ones figure out a solution or completely drop the subject.
  3. Keep Laughing –laughter helps keep us healthy. Many funny stories are included in “The Unraveling of Reverend G.” I wrote them on purpose, because we have to keep laughing.
  4. Remember – when it’s hard to keep repeating the same answer over and over, remember when your mother read your favorite book to you – over and over and over.
  5. Take Care of Yourself – healthcare professionals remind us that caregivers often get sick because they don’t take care of themselves. Grab the oxygen mask and place it over your own face, then you can help others.
  6. Forgive Me – none of our loved ones planned to get dementia or Alzheimer’s. They hate what the disease does to us, and they want us to forgive them. Reverend G often tells her son, Jacob, “Please forgive me.”
  7. Pray – when the 36-hour day blends into the next, pray. When you need extra patience, pray. When you can’t bear watching the symptoms of this horrid disease, pray.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia websites have a plethora of resources, but these seven tips come from the heart of Reverend G and are addressed within the book. In my presentations, I address each of these tips and give personal examples. Perhaps you’d like to hear me speak about “When Life Unravels: 7 Tips for Caregivers.” If so, let me know at rjthesman@yahoo.com.

In the meantime, keep praying.

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