Understanding is essential in caregiving. Understanding what? Our self, the situation, the probability of change, and how that fits into why the person we are caring for is behaving in a certain way. This helps us respond with patience as well as skill. When we understand, we are better able to interact with the person with compassion for our self as well as for them and potentially bring joy to our interactions.
Caregiving offers us an opportunity to examine our self, our life, our values. It invites us to mindfully, openly, and respectfully revisit this particular relationship. We remind our self and the person we are caring for that we are in this together. We can recall a past that cannot be changed but can be viewed differently if necessary. By staying in the present we can be an integral part of creating a meaningful future for our self and the person for whom we are caring.
It is easier to do this when we:
1. Appreciate what we have NOW.
2. Focus on what REMAINS, as opposed to what is LOST.
3. Find and adapt (with a positive attitude) to what becomes the NEW NORMAL.
4. Maintain our own and the person’s DIGNITY.