There’s a neat little 12-step “prayer,” that is the Mother’s Little Helper of caregiving.
It pops up on websites and blogs; people pass it along to their friends who are looking after someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Fridge-worthy? It might be. It was written by Carol J. Farran, DNSc, RN, and Eleanore Keane-Hagerty, MA, in 1989 and printed in The American Journal of Alzheimer”s Care and Related Disorders & Research.
And now we pass it along to you!
12 Steps for Caregivers
Although I cannot control the disease process, I need to remember I can control many aspects of how it affects me and my relative. I need to:
- Take care of myself so that I can continue doing the things that are most important.
- Simplify my lifestyle so that my time and energy are available for things that are really important at this time.
- Cultivate the gift of allowing others to help me, because caring for my relative is too big a job to be done by one person.
- Take one day at a time rather than worry about what may or may not happen in the future.
- Structure my day, because a consistent schedule makes life easier for me and my relative.
- Have a sense of humor, because laughter helps to put things in a more positive perspective.
- Remember that my relative is not being “difficult” on purpose, rather that his/her behavior and emotions are distorted by the illness.
- Focus on and enjoy what my relative can still do rather than constantly lament over what is gone.
- Increasingly depend upon other relationships for love and support.
- Frequently remind myself that I am doing the best that I can at this very moment.
- Draw upon the Higher Power, which I believe is available to me.
Reprinted from The American Journal of Alzheimer”s Care and Related Disorders & Research, November/December, 1989, 4(6), 38-41.
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