Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, or another form of memory loss, can be emotionally and physically exhausting. The days often seem long and stressful no matter how dedicated you are to your family member. Finding things to feel grateful for might be a challenge.
It’s important to know that living with gratitude doesn’t require you to ignore or deny when things are tough. Being positive and having a hopeful outlook is a way to remind yourself that there are things to appreciate even during the darkest of times.
Living with gratitude has many health benefits. A few of the most common include less stress, lower blood pressure, better sleep, and a boost to the immune system.
Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Many people find keeping a gratitude journal is an effective way to change their perspective. This practice can teach you how to focus on even the smallest things to be grateful for. When it becomes a habit, you will begin to find more and more reasons to be grateful.
So how can you start your gratitude journal?
It’s much easier than you think! First, consider the format that might work best for you. Would you prefer writing things down on paper or using an app for your phone? Setting up a system you are comfortable with will make you more likely to stick with it.
Then comes the important part—paying attention to the little things that happen throughout your day. Did you get a parking space close to the door at the grocery store when it was raining? Enter that in your journal. Was the sun shining on the way to take your senior loved one to the doctor? That’s something to be grateful for too.
If you are struggling to get started, it may help if you answer a few gratitude prompts. This list of questions might aid in beginning your journey:
- Did something make you smile or laugh today?
- Did you have a nice conversation with a friend or loved one?
- Was a staff member at a physician’s office particularly helpful?
- Did a neighbor or friend pitch in to help with caregiving duties?
- Did a memory of happy times pop into your mind today?
- Is there an activity or event that you are looking forward to attending?
- Is the view from your window something you enjoy?
- Do you have a pet that is always happy to see you?
- Are you healthy despite the stress of caregiving?
- Did you find a few minutes during the day to exercise?
- Is your partner or your children understanding of your caregiving role?
- Is a favorite flower in your garden blooming or the season changing?
When you train your mind to focus on the positive things in your life, it becomes easier to manage the more difficult days.
Memory Care at Sunrise
At Sunrise Senior Living, we take an individualized approach to memory care. Our neighborhoods are designed to create a safe, stimulating environment. Whether you are searching for short-term respite or a long-term solution, we invite you to schedule a tour and learn more. Call us today at 888-434-4648 to set up a time!