Strength for the Journey

We needed to move mom to a new room in a different wing in the care center this weekend. Ironically, it is the exact same room that they wanted to move her into when she first arrived five years ago. It is a very small room at the far end of a hallway, so back then I worked to have her moved to a larger room right away. She has been in the newer, larger room, & unlocked wing since then, until yesterday.

She has had a few incidences these past couple years of escaping her floor to other floors. Last week she was found upstairs (she had taken elevator) and was found at the far end of the assisted living section. The director suggested that we move her as soon as possible, since it is a huge liability and safety issue for her as her dementia progresses.

Change can be very upsetting and disruptive to a dementia patient. When I went yesterday and today, mom began crying right away, exclaiming that she was so happy and relieved to see me. She hates her room, and thought she was in a new building. She has no idea where she is or why we had to move her. I don’t explain that it is because she needed to be in locked unit, so I say that they have her on a waiting list for a bigger “apartment” style room upstairs. I try to be as upbeat and positive as possible, trying to point out the good in the situation.

I feel strong today, thanks to my deep faith getting me through. As with other challenges throughout this journey, I try to focus on the positive, even amidst the rough moments. That mindset greatly helps me to recognize the wonderful moments throughout. For instance, today while wheeling mom down her new hallway, there were two very sweet & friendly ladies who just beamed when they saw my kids. One reached out to my oldest and complemented her and said sweetly, “I just love you!” We just laughed and smiled and knew we made her day.

Sometimes it seems as if the residents haven’t seen kids in years, and with some, I think that is the case. It warms our hearts to bring that kind of meaningful joy to those who are so lonely. It is those gifted moments that help illuminate the dark times, and gives me hope and a reassurance that God is always near.

I found this prayer tonight and it was just what I needed to hear today:

Beatitudes for Caregivers

Blessed are those who sleep poorly because they’re worried about their loved one or because their loved one wakes in the middle of the night and needs help, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn because their loved one, though still alive, is slipping away because of dementia, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek who force themselves to speak up and speak out to make sure their loved one receives the help he or she needs, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for answers to why this is happening to their loved one and how much longer it will go on, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are those who show mercy, kindness and compassion to their loved one, for they will be shown mercy, kindness and compassion.

Blessed are those who keep clean a loved one who is physically or mentally unable to keep himself or herself clean, for they will see God.

Blessed are those who help their loved one find moments of peace, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are misunderstood, not appreciated and taken for granted in their role as caregiver, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you whose caregiving efforts are unjustly criticized — or who are falsely accused of not caring about others — because of your love for your care-receiver and your love for God, who has asked you to help his beloved son or daughter.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

A Caregiver’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me better understand and believe I can do what you ask me to do.

Forgive me for the times, even now, when I question your judgment.

As I go about the many daily tasks of caregiving, give me energy.

As I watch my loved one oh-so-slowly walk across the room, give me strength.

As I answer his/her repeated question just one more time, give me patience.

As I look for solutions to whatever is the most recent concern, give me wisdom.

As I reminisce with him/her about the “good old days,” give me a moment of laughter.

As I get to know my loved one in a new way, seeing both his or her strength and frailty, give me joy.

As I sit beside my loved one’s bed waiting for his or her pain medication to take effect, give me comfort.

Lighten my burden, answer my prayer, and give me the strength to do what so often seems impossible. Give me a quiet place to rest when I need it and a quieting of my anxieties when I’m there.

Change my attitude from a tired, frustrated and angry caregiver to the loving and compassionate one I want to be.

Remain my constant companion as I face the challenges of caregiving, and when my job is through and it’s time for me to let go, help me remember that he or she is leaving my loving arms to enter your eternal embrace. Amen.

From Catholic Herald.

This entry was posted in Caregiver Stress, Caregiving, Caring for Self and tagged Caregiving, Caring for self on October 7, 2014 by LifeFone.

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