Blame the disease, not the person, when caregiving gets frustratingBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers-caregiving/MY01374
- With Mayo Clinic health education outreach coordinator
Angela Lunderead biographyclose window
Angela LundeAngela LundeAngela Lunde is a dementia education specialist in the education core of Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the Abigail Van Buren Alzheimer's Disease Research Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The transfer of information about dementias, as well as understanding the need for participation in clinical trials, is an essential component of the education core.
Angela is a member of the Alzheimer's Association board of directors and co-chair of the annual Minnesota Dementia Conference. She is a member of the Dementia Behavior Assessment and Response Team (D-BART), a multidisciplinary outreach service assisting professional and family caregivers in understanding and managing difficult behaviors often present in dementia. She facilitates several support groups, including Memory Club, an early-stage education and support series, and more recently, helped to develop and now deliver Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking (HABIT), a 10-day cognitive rehab and wellness program for people with mild cognitive impairment.
Angela takes a personal interest in understanding the complex changes that take place within relationships and among families when dementia is present. She is particularly interested in providing innovative and accessible ways for people with dementia and their families to receive information and participate in valuable programs that promote well-being.
"Amid a devastating disease, there are tools, therapies, programs and ways to cope, and it is vital that families are connected to these resources," she says.
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July 13, 2010
Blame the disease, not the person, when caregiving gets frustrating
By Angela Lunde
A while back Jewels wrote a bit about her caregiving role. She said she's caring for someone who "wakes up cloudy about what happened or who he talked to yesterday...", and that she "has to remind herself that this disease is not who she cares for, but something the person with dementia has to deal with." I think I know what Jewels was trying to say and I have another perspective that can be helpful.
The anger, frustration and impatience you often feel as a caregiver is normal and you've every right to own those feelings. Yet when you fully accept Alzheimer's or a similar dementia, you can begin to separate the disease from the person and the person from the behaviors. If you're able to do this, you can move toward knowing that the real truth is this: It's not the person you love with dementia that you're angry or frustrated with, it's the disease.
Each of you in a caregiving role can have feelings of anger, frustration, impatience or resentment. But when you place the blame where it belongs — which is on the disease and not on the person — healing can take place. And by accepting that you can't change the person with the disease, you can gently and with compassion transform yourself.
Please share your thoughts and experiences.blog index