Primary caregiver for Dementia Patient

As The Primary Caregiver, Should I Journal My Feelings About Dementia?

Being a caregiver can be stressful and difficult. It involves contradictory feelings, thoughts and frustrations. When you have to care for a loved one who has dementia, you have to be patient, talk with a calm voice and never talk down to your loved one.

Journaling your thoughts and feelings will definitely help you cope with the situation. Write in your journal all that comes through your mind and heart; nobody but you will read it. It is between you and your journal. Let your pen guide you through the pages. You may want to do some additional research on dementia to better understand the process and stages your loved one will pass through. If you are a little bit knowledgeable about the disease, the process of caring will be easier on both you and your loved one.

You can keep daily notes on your loved one, such as bathing or eating changes, whether she becomes agitated, and so on. It can also help you remember things to discuss with the doctor.

The good thing about a journal is that it is handy and you can write whenever you feel like it, day or night. It will never contradict you. On the contrary, it will help you deal with your internal emotions. It will relieve your mind and your soul. If you are uncomfortable about writing, it may be easier to express your feelings by recording them on a tape recorder or the dictaphone on your phone.

If you like, you can recall some family gathering you all had together, a camping trip or fishing trip where your loved one caught a BIGGGGG fish! You can read this part to him or her, and it might trigger some memory in your loved one’s memory that was lost to dementia.

Journaling will also help you release the burden of caregiving you may have. Removing the burden through the pen will definitely ease the pain. But journaling should not be the only way out for these strong feelings you have. You may want to enroll in a support group. You can check through the Dementia/Alzheimer’s Association if there is such a group in your area. Speaking to other people will help in getting all these negative emotions out. And most of the participants are dealing with exactly the same emotions because they have to care for a loved one who has dementia as well. Sometimes, speaking out loud and getting out these feelings will do you a lot of good and you will feel much better after. You may even make friends through these groups, friends that will be able to support you as time goes on.

Remember, you are not alone. You have friends and family to talk to. Maybe you can ask a family member to help with your loved one. It will ease the burden and give you more time to yourself, to journal and to recharge your batteries.

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