Monday, 27 October 2014

UBC - Day 27, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (keeping your perspective) - Tips for Carers


Don’t sweat the small stuff, keep your perspective

Throughout the weeks we have been looking at different areas of the carer’s role and things you can do to make it work better for your health and well-being, I hope that you have found some of the ideas helpful and it would be great to hear what you are putting into practice in your own life.

Where has the time gone?


‘If it is not broke, then don’t fix it’ or ‘don’t try to reinvent the wheel’ are two sayings that I remind myself of daily because there are so many things out of our control and that can send you on a spiral of self-doubt, when you finally come back to yourself and out of the rabbit hole you find that you’ve missed out on a large chunk of your life.


In your caring role you will also come across situations and events that arise and impact negatively on your role, or you might meet people who are difficult and unhelpful, you have got to keep going. The bureaucracy that you will face as a carer can be hard, but for every 2 unhelpful people, there is someone who genuinely wants to be of assistance or give you the correct information. I found that many times over the years and at times I just had to come at it from a different point of view, wait a few days and then approach it again.

Dealing with the day to day

Even dealing with the day to day things could be an issue where your loved one refuses to do something quite simple like change their clothes for bed at night time. If you have been used to doing things in a set way then for them to decided not to change their clothes can be an issue. When it happened with my mum she just point blankly refused to change into her night clothes and no cajoling or persuading would make her change her might. I began to get upset as this was totally unheard of - sleeping in your day clothes! I couldn’t work out why she would do this to me. 


Then something clicked, it had meant more to me than it did to her, the clothes were just clothes to her, she felt comfortable in the clothes she had on and didn’t want to take them off for her it represented making her own decisions and being independent, and here was her daughter ordering her about in her own home. I realised that even though I was trying and keep to a system, changing the clothes and doing things that she normally would do helped me to feel that we were in control of dementia, and represented order to me, dementia is not a disease of order. 


Taking a step back

I had to step back and stop stressing both her and myself out at night and just let her sleep in the clothes if she wished knowing that she would be changing her clothes come morning. This gave a sense of peace and it was no longer an issue, but it also meant that possible changes in the way she perceived things were taking place and there would be other things that would come up that needed to be dealt with from a different perspective, I had to let it go of how I thought things should go, and make room for the things that really mattered.

For now what areas of your life and your role as a carer could be rearrange to remove the stress that can sometimes crop up and what can you let go of?



You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.
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