Welcome back Careblazer! In today’s post, I want to share my thoughts on making your loved one happy. This comes from a recent 14 day challenge I did with a group of amazing Careblazers. We were talking about what they want in caregiving and how they would know if they were doing a good job.
If you would rather watch a video on this topic, click here.
One of the Careblazers in that group was really struggling. One of the ways she was determining whether she was a good careblazer was whether her father was happy. Her father would often get upset if she left the house to do her medical appointents, run errands, etc. So she basically neglected her self care until the point she wound up in the hospital. Now she’s out and she’s still neglecting her appointments and things because she thinks her being a good Careblazer is based on her dad being happy. I believe her exact words were "I want him to be happy and I want there to be peace".
I have so many thoughts about this, but I want to share with you my biggest takeaway that I have a feeling some of you could benefit from hearing. You can’t base how good you are doing as a Careblazer on your loved one’s level of happiness. Of course it would be amazing for them to be happy and there are things you can do to help increase those chances. But, if you determine how good you are doing based on their happiness, you can run yourself into the ground, suffer with your own health as this Careblazer did, and possibly even hurt your loved one. Let me explain.
The reason someone with dementia needs a caregiver is because they are no longer able to safely manage their own life and care. Their brain has suffered from a disease that impacts their decision making, ability to fully understand, reasoning, and so on. Because of this challenge, you are often in the position of having to (at some point) take over the driving, manage the finances, provide supervision in the home and so on. If your goal was to make your loved one happy all the time, then you’d likely have to give in to their requests and demands of allowing them to drive when it’s unsafe, giving them control of money, leaving them home alone, and so on. I can hear some of you already saying there is no way you could do that. Your loved one could get hurt, hurt someone else, or drain their life savings.
This is the hardest part of being a Careblazer. Often, doing the absolute best caregiving means your loved one may be upset, sad, or frustrated that you are standing in their way.
So in the case of this Careblazer, her dad was happy when she stayed home and upset when she left for her own medical appointment. The consequence of that was her own health deterioration. Despite her initial goal to have happiness and peace, she loses her own happiness and peace. It’s gone whether she gets medical help or she doesn’t. So finding a way to get it would be the more worthwhile challenge to take.
For you it might be driving. Your loved one may be upset they can’t drive. So you can either let them drive and take the risk of them hurting or kiling themselves or someone else. Or you can take the risk of them being upset.
I promise you Careblazer, you can be the absolute best Careblazer on this planet and if your’e doing a great job at trying to keep your loved one safe, chances are high they may not be happy from time to time. Please don’t take that as a reflection that you are doing something wrong or that you have to sacrifice even more.
In the meantime, Careblazer. Trust that if you are spending your time watching one of my videos on YT, you are already amazing and so far ahead of the game. Don’t doubt your love and care because you loved one can’t see it that way.
Keep up the great work and I hope you welcome you inside my Care course in the very near future. Click the link here to see what it's all about!