Progress Over Perfection

When did I get so tired? When was the last time I slept through the night? Do I even remember what it felt like to be rested? At this point, just soaking in a hot tub for 15 minutes would feel like a mini vacation! I have to find some help. There has to be a better way!

Earlier that day, I took Mom and my mother-in-law, Jean, to the doctor for their checkups. You should know that they are best friends and enjoy spending time together. I scheduled them both with the same physician to save time, trips, and confusion since I was a caregiver to both. Mom was living with vascular dementia, and Jean had Alzheimer's. Neither enjoyed going to the doctor; getting them to go was a battle.

Caregiving is hard.

Being a caregiver for two precious little ladies, both fighting different forms of dementia, is exhausting regardless of how much you love them or what plans you make.

I leave mom, pants on and buttoning up her dress shirt, to check on Jean, who has decided to make a wardrobe change. I can see she's added a dress shirt with a button-up pajama shirt on top of it. To make things even more interesting, the right side of the pajama shirt is buttoned to the left side of the dress shirt!

Stay calm. Don't question or argue.

"Let me help you with those buttons," I say while pretending all is normal. After some untangling, unbuttoning, removing, and re-buttoning, we are all set. As we enter the living room, Mom greets us in her pajamas!

"What happened to your clothes?" blurts out before I can stop my surprise. Mom's bewildered look causes me to instantly remember she has no idea. I left her pajamas in the room, so she assumed it was time to put them on.

Learn to do better next time.

Note to self: take dirty clothes out of the room to avoid confusion.

Keeping them both in the same room, I managed to get both dressed, complete with glasses, hearing aids, teeth, and shoes. Off we go!

Caregiving is not a science; it's an art. You learn as you go.

You are likely doing a great job. Are you perfect? No, but no one is! The key is, are you learning and trying to do better? Do you understand the disease and what's causing some unexpected mood swings?

I can help you with that. I wrote Caregiving: How To Hold On While Letting Go. It offers strategies, tools, resources, and encouragement. It also includes biblical stories and inspirational quotes from the Bible. It's a great gift for caregivers or soon-to-be caregivers. Many people have told me they wish they would've known about it sooner. So many arguments could have been avoided when armed with these strategies.

If you'd like an autographed copy from me, order here.

You are doing an extremely difficult job with few accolades, so know that I applaud you and stand ready to help whenever you need it. You can e-mail me at [email protected] I answer every e-mail personally.

Keep learning, and keep your head up dear caregiver!

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I am an author, speaker, caregiver, and Grammy. The latter is by far the most fun! Having been a primary caregiver 3x, I realized so many lessons were learned too late to benefit my Dad who passed of Parkinson's Disease. I resolved to write a book to make life easier and safer for other caregivers that would get them ideas, inspiration, and lessons learned. It's called "Caregiving: How To Hold On While Letting Go" available on Amazon. I am a Certified Caregiver Consultant and Advocate as well as a Community Educator for the Alzheimer's Assoc. and Founder of The PurpleVine LLC

I want to know more caregiving tips, and resources, plus get FREE gifts!

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