May 23, 2015

The negativity that comes with Alzheimer's caregiving

Alzheimer's caregivers are bombarded day after day with negativity -- it comes with the territory. As a result, it is easy for a caregiver to become negative.

Positive Attitude W Clement Stone

I often envision caregivers trapped in a negative space thinking the same negative thoughts over and over

From the day that I understood it was Alzheimer's, I had to confront my new and very negative environment with my mother.

I understood that if I did not get control of my own feelings and emotions I was going to go over the edge.  I stood on the edge more than once. On occasion, I felt like my world was spinning out of control.

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By Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Early on, I decided to start labeling my feelings, to understand the source of these feelings, and to turn these very negatives thoughts and feelings into positive action.

When my mother would engaged in the often crazy and bizarre behaviors that come with Alzheimer's I would often feel disconcerted.

Like the many, I was feeling angry, frustrated, guilty, sad, ...(fill in the blank).

I decided I needed to know exactly which feeling I was feeling, I had to label each feeling. I needed to understand the source of the feeling -- and then I needed to deal with the feeling immediately.

I learned to go into another room, label my feeling, understand the feeling, and frankly, to blow it away. I learned to take several deep breaths and dismiss the feeling as part of the Alzheimer's disease, and not a part of my mothers's behavior.

You need to remember, it is not about you, it is about the person living with dementia. A person who can best be descried as deeply forgetful.


Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results. ~ Willie Nelson

I believe that caregivers have choices. One choice you need to make is whether you want to live the next decade or so in the dark world of negativity. Or, if you want to come into the light -- into positive attitude land.

Nobody is going to make this choice for you. It is up to you to decide, and it is up to you to make the necessary changes.

Change doesn't come easy.


Once you start labeling your feelings you are on your way to taking control of those feelings.

Label the feeling. Why are you feeling this way?

What is causing you to feel this way?

Is the behavior that is causing you to feel this way a product of the one you are caring for, or is it a product of the Alzheimer's disease?

This is important. You must learn to understand the disease and this is the how and the where of when you start to understand Alzheimer's. You now live in two worlds.

The new world is called Alzheimer's World. Don't confuse Alzheimer's world with the real world.


When you make the leap from the negative to the positive don't forget to congratulate yourself.

While you are at it ask yourself this question -- Did the Alzheimer's beat you, or did you beat the Alzheimer's?

My name is Bob DeMarco,  my mother Dorothy lived with Alzheimer's disease, and so did I.

We lived our life one day at a time.

We decided to fight.

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