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Ellen Gerst, A Guide To Caregiving: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration


Caregiver Support:
Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration
Caregiving for your aging parents, especially those with Alzheimers, can be viewed both as a burden and
a blessing. The truth is that its your attitude about this situation that will allow you to perceive it not as
one or the other but a mixture of the two.
There are lots of books you can read, which provide a combination of facts and theory to help you
understand the disease that afflicts your loved one, as well give you tips on caregiving. In fact, I do just
that in both my books: Understanding Dementia and Caregiving for Aging Parents From A to Z and
A Guide for Caregivers of Aging Parents with Alzheimers. I also go a step further and attempt to
inspire you by introducing you to changes in perspective.
There is one thing that I cant do for you: make a conscious decision and choice to move forward and
recognize and accept your own limitations as a caregiver. That job belongs to you, and I hope youll
accept that position because that is one of the best ways to handle this situation. And, while youre taking
the appropriate steps to come to grips with your new circumstances, keep in mind that you can only do
your best. However, its when youre confronted with issues and problems, such as dealing with a dire
illness, that a golden opportunity lies in front of you to learn about life and deepen your relationships.
This experience is building up your emotional muscles, which will serve you well in the future. As you
move through the rest of your life, youll be confronted with the need to make choices all of the time, not
just in a caregiving situation. Some will be small and inconsequential, and others will be big and
impactful. In all instances, when you reflectively respond, choice comes before action because youve
thought through a plan on how you will go about achieving your goals. Its imperative to consciously
decide how youre going to choose to respond to your circumstances, today and each day that follows.
The following short e-book provides you with six concepts as food for thought about your caregiving
duties. For more tips such as these, please join me at the following links.
1. Pinterest for Caregiver Support:
http://www.pinterest.com/ellengerst/help-with-caregiving-for-those-with-alzheimers/
2. More Resources for Caregivers: http://caregivingforagingparents.blogspot.com/
3. Books Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Understanding Dementia and Caregiving for Aging Parents From A to Z
http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Dementia-Caregiving-Aging-Parents/dp/1484148290
A Guide to Caregiving of Aging Parents Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Caregivers-Aging-Parents-Alzheimers/dp/14944024
Ellen Gerst
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Ellen Gerst, A Guide To Caregiving: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration
Sympathy is essentially feeling sorry for someone and wishing they would
feel better. It may also include a value judgment.
Conversely, empathy is the actual understanding of the situation of another
because you have the ability to put yourself in their shoes.
This is most often accomplished by those who have experienced
something similar because they get it as you do now.
Developing an empathetic nature, which is of true help to others in need,
is one of the blessings of this situation.
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Ellen Gerst, A Guide To Caregiving: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration
As challenging as your own situation may be, your struggles
transform you into a more empathetic person.
The super power of X-ray vision is now granted upon you, for your eyes
have been pried open to recognize when others are similarly hurting.
Imagine a world in which everyone could walk through life
in a cloud of kindness and a hand outstretched to help others.
Soon, the whole world could be holding hands!
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Ellen Gerst, A Guide To Caregiving: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration
Your contentment with your particular set of circumstances all rests in
your perception of it and your attitude towards it.
You can choose to view your caregiving duties as a burden that wears you down
OR as a blessing for which youre able to reap the rewards.
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Ellen Gerst, A Guide To Caregiving: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration
As a caregiver, do you ever feel like doing this?
It CAN be a beneficial exercise, although I suggest you think of it as a metaphor.
You dont have to shout from a real window,
but only from the window of your soul.
Its natural to be angry about the suffering of a loved one and
frustrated with your situation. Practice expressing your feelings
appropriately and expel them from your body.
This can clear your mind, so you can turn to proactive thoughts and actions.
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Ellen Gerst, A Guide To Caregiving: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration
Your loved one still lives inside the body and mind,
which may have deteriorated from disease.
Despite that fact, refrain from talking negatively about them to others
in front of them as if they cant hear or understand you.
Even if they cant comprehend all the words,
body language and tone speak loudly.
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Ellen Gerst, A Guide To Caregiving: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration
Caregiving stretches your emotional muscles
sometimes more than you ever thought possible.
Its a lot like exercise; you dont really want to do it, but you are rewarded,
IF you can power through your resistance and achiness.
Rikki Rogers said, Strength doesnt come from what you can do.
It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldnt.
In turn, this fact empowers you to reach deeper within your wellspring
to help your loved ones travel the difficult roads of Alzheimers.