While operating as a caregiver for someone living with Alzheimer's, or any type of dementia, we are performing at a very high "station in life".
Caregiving is often arduous and burdensome. At times it can be heartbreaking. But the ordinary acts we perform each day can bring meaning and purpose to our lives.
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
It is my belief that we are all searching for meaning in our lives. I can think of few things as meaningful as caring for someone who needs us so much.
If allow yourself to think and feel, if you open your mind, you might come to the realization that these many arduous tasks we perform are not only necessary, they give a higher quality of life to the person for whom we are caring.
I remember when I first wrote candidly here in the Alzheimer's Reading Room about giving my mother a shower. Many were surprised. Most men commented that they didn't know if they could do it.
For me, it was a necessary act of kindness and love. It was an important act because good hygiene is a necessary act of good health.
When I finished washing my mother's hair and giving her a shower she looked squeaky clean. I did a good job. My mom seemed happier. This was easy for me to understand. I often feel good, and happy, after giving myself a good cleaning. Don't you? Don't you feel better?
I wrote here candidly about the dreaded bowel movement. It included the fact that I had to clean up poop. You might think I was horrified, many assumed I was. I was not. For me, it was a necessary act of caring. An act of love and kindness. You can read about it here -
I recently read on Facebook about a women who was finding it very difficult to wipe her mom.
She wanted to teach her mom who was living with dementia how to wipe her own butt. She thought it would bring dignity to her mom. She failed to realize that this ordinary act of caring was necessary.
Perhaps it would have helped if she thought about the fact that she was keeping her mother free of rashes, sores, and infection. All of which can be life threatening to a person living with Alzheimer's.
She was performing a necessary act of kindness and love. She is a very loving daughter.
Caring is an act of love and kindness. Let me emphasize this.
Caring is an act of love and kindness.
For these reasons alone we are operating at a very high "station in life".
For those who doubt their own great accomplishment each day I ask, "if not you, who could do it".
I believe we are called to care. We are often the ONE. The only one.
I believe caring does and will bring meaning to you life. Allow yourself to feel the happiness and Joy of your accomplishment.
As a caregiver you embark on what just might be the most important mission of your entire life.
When this mission ends you will have then have accomplished more than you ever could have imagined.
You will have loved and cared for another human being in a way that few you understand.
Allow yourself to understand how wonderful you really are.
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About the Author
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