One of the ways that caregivers struggle when their loved ones have Alzheimer’s disease is in keeping a connection to that loved one. It doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think, although it helps you to keep some concepts in mind as you go through every day with your loved one.
Let Go of Expectations.
Often a big part of the difficulty in communicating and connecting with your loved one is that you have expectations about what that connection is going to look and feel like. When reality doesn’t meet up with those expectations, you might think that you’ve done something wrong or that you should be doing more. In reality, your expectations may be what needs adjusting.
Gratitude can do so much for both you and your loved one. Remind yourself that you’re in a good position to be able to be her primary caregiver now, when she needs you the most. Be grateful also for the good times that you and your loved one still have together. While you’re at it, find reasons to be grateful for the difficult moments, too, even if it’s that your loved one is teaching you more about patience.
Let Silences Happen.
Many caregivers worry when their loved ones don’t have much to say or don’t want to communicate. Those silences can help both of you to reconnect later, so they’re serving a purpose. Learn to listen and enjoy those silences for what they are. They don’t have to be as ominous as they might feel to you at first.
Just Love Your Loved One.
The biggest way for you to connect with your loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease is simply to love her. When you love her with your whole heart, all the rest will follow. The connection that you forge with your loved one doesn’t have to be complicated or be the same as anyone else’s.
Work with all of the tools at your disposal to help your loved one, but don’t forget that you need time away, too. Hiring elder care providers can help you to recharge so you’re ready to connect again with your loved one.