Feb 20, 2011

Taking inventory

"The richness of the human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome," Helen Keller.

With an overnight respite I have had time to step back and take a look at how we are doing. For me: I have felt overwhelmed by obligations and responsibilities, and extra things to take care of. For Dwane: he has had a steady decline this fall/winter. It is sad to see. In 3+ years we have lived with this diagnosis, it has been interesting to see the process. He was combative at first; occurs to me now that he was fighting the onset of his limitations. Then we had an amazing break last summer with him seeming almost like his old self. Now this fall and winter, much more decline, but he is usually in good spirits.

As caregiver it is so important to have breaks from the responsibilities of caregiving and to gain perspective so that we can see how the journey is going, not just for the person with dementia, but for us as dementia caregivers. It is only by gaining insight that we can alter the course of our actions and set the tone for how we want to live. What rewarding joy can we find in our experience today, as dementia caregivers?

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