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WebSideStory Pick of the Week! 3/16/98

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Senior Housing Net
    JUNE 23, 2000
    Communications With Your Loved One-Part Two
    By: Gail R Mitchell
    Communications, Part Two focuses on resolving 
    conflicts, turning them into cooperation and 
    finding the peace that all parties should 
    experience in these challenging times.
    Since most caregivers either inherit the role or 
    are thrown into it by a simple diagnosis, it is 
    important to maintain your own self worth 
    during the process. For most, learning to 
    communicate with others will be an ongoing 
    exercise in staying focused, learning to listen, 
    and to say what is on your mind.  This requires 
    you to look at all things realistically.  Denial 
    and fantasy have no place in the realm of 
    these choices.
    Caregiving is a partnership whether it is for a 
    parent, child or spouse. There must be 
    self-respect for all concerned. Boundaries 
    must be set as to what you can do, what 
    you are capable of, and what the person y
    ou are caring for is capable of doing. As a 
    caregiver, you must learn to say "no" at times, 
    and take time to do the necessary things for 
    yourself to remain mentally, physically and 
    emotionally balanced so that you can care 
    for your loved one. Remember, if you are 
    not well, you will not be able to care for your 
    loved one.
    You have a right to be angry, confused, hurt, 
    and depressed, as do the loved one you are 
    caring for. How you handle it and move 
    through it is important. By sharing with others 
    and speaking your truth, you slowly grow and 
    Remember at all times that you have choices 
    on how you want to feel inside. If you are 
    feeling stuck or in a victim state of mind, your 
    experiences will reflect this. Work through 
    these feelings as soon as possible so that 
    you can choose experiences, which are more 
    joyful, pleasant and at times, even bittersweet.
    Caregivers and carerecipient in general, need 
    other avenues to keep them occupied, such 
    as having friends, hobbies,  and interests 
    which support you living a quality of life at 
    all times.
    Caregivers tend to feel guilty and diminish 
    themselves. You need to cultivate ways of 
    praising yourself and honoring all that you 
    are doing in your role. There is no room for 
    "shoulds, coulds, and have to's" that you 
    or others might put on yourself. The same 
    goes for the carerecipient. Have compassion 
    and empathy for the mixed feelings and 
    emotions your loved one might be experiencing 
    even if they are having difficulty in expressing 
    Do not permit yourself to communicate when 
    you are feeling sorry for yourself, stuck, or 
    needy. If you need to share with someone 
    about your current state of mind, do so. 
    Read inspirational materials or talk with 
    someone who can support you in lifting you 
    out of this space.
    Remember, even if your loved one does not 
    have all their faculties, there is still a soul, 
    which resides inside their body. Their soul 
    knows and understands all the things that 
    are transpiring in the moment. Honor this 
    soul and be present with them. If the 
    individual you care for has had a brain injury 
    or is suffering from Alzheimer's, they may be 
    in their own world. Do not try to bring them 
    back into yours. It is their illness that is 
    doing it, not their soul. If anything, permit 
    yourself to drop your need to control things 
    and have them act a certain way. Perhaps 
    make a game of it and move into their 
    world and play along with them.
    The most important tool you have is your 
    heart. When you come from your heart or a 
    loving space, others will respond in kind. Your 
    heart energy can be used as a barometer. It
    is a good indicator as to when you are feeling 
    good and when you are not. Almost all issues 
    you will face can be resolved if you are willing 
    to come from your truth, look at them honestly 
    and evaluate the partnership.
    Richest blessings on your journey.
    We look forward to the opportunity of serving you. We 
    welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions. Please 
    feel free to contact us at: or

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