FREE TRAINING: How To Care For A Loved One With Dementia
About YouTube Blog Instagram As Seen On SPEAKING REQUEST Login


caregiver stress Oct 04, 2018

Well hi there, Careblazer. 


In anticipation of my upcoming live care class, this week’s video is all about how to handle the things about dementia that are outside of your control AND the one thing that is in your control.


If you prefer to watch the video I did on this topic, you can click right here to watch. 


There are sooo many things outside outside of Your control in caring for a loved one with dementia. I talk a lot about how your own behaviors and non-verbal cues impact your loved one with dementia, and I 100% believe your own actions can impact your loved one’s behavior for the better or the worse.


I also acknowledge that there are just some days that no matter what you do, things are not going well. Days when no matter how great you feed your loved one, exercise your loved one, take your loved one to the doctor, etc. that things will be out of your control.


In situations where your loved one with dementia isn't calming down no matter what you do or what you try, it’s important you start to find a way for you to control your perspective on the situation. It's important for you to control your reaction to the situation. Because for some of you, the way you react is either making things worse or helping you cope through the difficult situation.


If you’ve downloaded and read my Careblazer survival guide then you already know that your thoughts have a big impact on your mood. Basically, your thoughts create your mood- your mood impacts your behaviors - AND your behaviors impact your loved one’s behaviors.


If you are constantly thinking, “there’s nothing I can do to improve my situation!” Guess what? You are right! Your situation will probably stay the same and maybe even get worse.


BUT, if you think to yourself, “I’m committed to giving my full effort at trying to make things better,” THEN your situation is more likely to actually get better!


Here's the most amazing part, by doing this, your loved one’s behaviors will start to improve because you will become less stressed, less depressed, more hopeful, more inspired and when you are the best version of yourself, you have a greater chance of impacting your loved one for the better.


If you haven’t yet read the Careblazer Survival Guide, I’m going to share a snapshot of one of the chapters to help explain my point.


Most people think that situations create our feelings, but that is not true. This is why people in the same situation feel and act different ways.  What's the thing that makes the difference? What's the thing that causes one person to overcome tragedy and triumph and causes another to turn to alcohol to cope? YOUR THOUGHTS.


Some of you reading this may be asking, “How on earth could changing my thoughts actually lead to any change with my loved one? I just need my loved one to change. My thoughts have nothing to do with changing them.” Let me explain with a simple example.


SITUATION: Your mom lost her purse again and is yelling that you stole her purse.
THOUGHT: “She’s such a liar! I can’t believe she has the nerve to accuse me of stealing her purse after everything I do for her!”
BEHAVIOR: You snap back at your mother. The rest of the day is tense with little communication. Your mother chooses not to eat dinner that night.


Now here is the same situation with another thought. 


SITUATION: Your mom lost her purse again and is yelling that you stole her purse.
THOUGHT: “Her mind is trying to understand how her purse is missing again. What an awful disease.”
FEELING: Compassion and understanding.
BEHAVIOR: You tell your mother you that you love her, will help her find her purse and then you two engage in a pleasant activity together.


Do you see how the situation was the same (your mom accused you of stealing her purse), but your feeling and actions afterwards were different based on what you thought about the situation? This is a really quick example to show how your thoughts are important and to hopefully encourage you to be more mindful of your thoughts.


Your thoughts become your reality. If you think to yourself, “My dad is always doing things to drive me crazy!” Guess what? Your dad will probably always seem to be doing things to drive you crazy because your feelings, facial expressions, and actions will trigger your dad to act in those ways.


Instead, if you think “This disease is really hard on my dad and I know it’s not his fault. I’m frustrated, but I understand.” Guess what? You will be more calm and more understanding of your dad’s difficult behaviors. As a result, your dad’s behaviors will improve because your feelings, facial expressions, and actions will help your dad feel more comfortable.

Now you understand how your thoughts can impact your mood and behavior, AS WELL AS, your loved one’s actions. A word of warning, just because you understand the relationship between thoughts and feelings, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to find yourself completely frustrated and thinking negative thoughts. We are all human and those moments are completely natural.


However, it's not okay to let those negative thoughts hang out in your mind for a long time. When you notice that you are having a negative thought toward your loved one, you want to be able to replace those thoughts with something that will be more helpful- for you AND your loved one.

As we learned in the video on how to deal with difficult dementia emotions, you know hard moments are coming, that is a reality. It’s important to know how to get through those tough moments. 

Imagine how different you would feel if you were more aware of your thoughts and changed them for the better! Do you think this would lead to less caregiver stress than if you continued to think that your loved one is awful and purposefully trying to ruin your life?


Be more kind in your thoughts, not only about difficult dementia situations, but also about yourself and your life.


If you are ready to take back control of your life. If you are ready to start feeling better and doing the things you want to do but just haven’t been able to find the time, strength, or courage to do them, then be sure to sign up for the free careblazer self-care class. This will be a LIVE event - something I don’t do often and I’ll be taking your Q&A’s at the end. Exciting!


Until next time, Careblazer. Keep up the good work. 


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.