As a caregiver, providing care to a loved one with dementia can be a demanding experience. While it is natural to feel anxious or lonely, successful caregivers choose to focus on the positives of their situation and adopt a proactive approach. Let's talk about some traits of successful caregivers and how they can help transform one's caregiving experience.
It is important to acknowledge that many caregivers face negative side effects. For instance, the average dementia caregiver is at a higher risk of mortality and experiences anxiety, loneliness, and sleep difficulties. In fact, research shows that the average dementia caregiver has a 68% higher mortality rate compared to non-caregivers. Additionally, 64% of them experience anxiety, 40% of them experience loneliness and over 60% have trouble with sleep. However, successful caregiver's approach decreases their risks of all of these things. Though they may experience some of these emotions, they tend to have more happiness, joy, and peace. So, what sets them apart?
Successful caregivers focus on what they can do to improve their situation instead of getting bogged down by the negatives. Rather than just feeling upset about the challenges of caregiving, they try to figure out what they can do to help and where they can make a difference. While it may feel good to vent about difficulties, it usually doesn't result in any real change. Successful caregivers are aware of the difficulties they face, but they actively search for ways to address them and find solutions. This is by no means an easy thing to do.
For instance, successful caregivers seek out information and resources to help them cope with their caregiving responsibilities. They understand that the healthcare system can only provide so much support, and they need to take an active role in their loved one's care. They may attend workshops or classes, read books, seek support through groups, or watch videos to learn more about dementia care. By doing so, they gain knowledge that can help them to be better caregivers.
In summary, successful caregivers focus on what they can do to improve their situation instead of dwelling on the negatives and focusing on all the things outside of their control.
They recognize that caregiving is a challenging role, but they also know that they have the power to make a difference.
By adopting this proactive mindset, caregivers can transform their caregiving experience and find joy and fulfillment in caring for their loved ones with dementia.
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