May 21, 2012


"When we feel crushed by the weight of our obligations, we get sick." Alice Domar, PhD

Stress damages our immune system.  Lightening our load buoys our immune systems.  So, how does one who is caregiving lighten the load of obligations?  Dwane moving into assisted living has dramatically lightened my badly-overloaded system and list of obligations.  But, it has not removed them.  I moved home from our house-sitting situation which I undertook to better meet Dwane's needs, to a mistakenly-disconnected phone, leaking roof with interior damage, stored vehicle with dead battery, trees damaged by mountain pine beetles, and Dwane's resistance to seeing that his needs have exceeded his being at home safely.  Content in the first month in assisted living, now Dwane has his bags packed (partially) and adamant about coming home.  That cannot happen.  His needs for assistance in his self care and safety are too great for a traditional assisted living center to even consider; and they are certainly too great for me to continue to try to provide.  It is imperative, even when we do not have support from others, that we do NOT allow this disease to take both us and the care receiver.  Because, it will.  It is imperative that we put as the top priority our own health. (of course, that is after assuring the safety of the person with dementia).  The Domar Center for Mind/Body Health suggests some tips for beginning to buoy our own immune system by eliminating obligations.  These suggestions include:  Say NO to requests, understand why we are tempted to take on a task -- the emotional payoff we might be getting by taking something on, let go of the need for perfection, make time for something fun.  Which one of these techniques can you commit to today?

No comments:

Post a Comment