Sep 9, 2011

Be gentle with ourselves

 "Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows", by Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle, she writes, "The strain of helping Hob (my husband) with his disease kept stretching me to the breaking point. My frustration and anger concealed the grief that lay at deeper levels ... The ravages of this illness spark powerful feelings in everyone ... We need to experience our humanness, including all the so-called dark emotions like anger and fear, because they are natural given the situation."

I agree that frustration and irritation are normal in this role of providing caregiving for someone with dementia, or any other terminal and progressive disease.  But, feeling angry very much of the time is not good for us; and if you find yourself feeling anger or irritation more than a tiny percentage of the time, I think we need to evaluate the situation and make changes so that we are experiencing less stress.  Get more respite help in, consider placement in assisted living:  whatever it takes for you to feel more equilibrium in your life is good for you and ultimately good for the person for whom you are providing care.     

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