Embracing Happiness When Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer’s

Embracing Happiness When Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer’s
"A cheerful heart is good medicine." — Proverbs 17:22 You may recognize that verse, which is often paraphrased as “Laughter is good medicine.” And it is, though some would say that nothing about Alzheimer’s disease brings cheer — certainly nothing to make you laugh out loud. It would be very sad if that were true, but the reality is that you can find humor and lightness in almost any situation, and it’s important that caregivers do just that. Caregivers must pinpoint the sweet spot between their daily reality and happiness, realizing that happiness and joy are two separate entities. You may not find happiness in the middle of your caregiving day, amid the mundane but necessary tasks. Cooking, cleaning, bathing, and the loads of laundry carted in and out of the laundry room don't spur you on toward a cheerful heart. However, abiding joy moves us through the difficult days and nights that often accompany caregiving. Finding joy is the challenge.

A cheerful heart takes practice

Some people are just naturally cheery. Yay for them! Some of us, however, have a more difficult time of it. For us, a cheerful spirit takes practice, especially when life is difficult, but it’s an exercise well worth the effort. How does a person practice cheerfulness? Basically, cheerfulness is a choice that involves a battle of the mind. When caregiving turns dreary, remember that it’s but a season, and choose in that season to embrace joy. It takes work to turn your mind into a happy spot. It helped me to concentrate on the choices I had. I could choose to be burdened with sadness or to think on good things. When caring for my mother, before my feet hit th
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