Faith Feed

Much like an adult who realizes that he or she has a "wounded child" living inside – a child who suffers from unearned self-blame or low self-esteem because of life events – many adult caregivers carry the guilt from their "infant" caregiving years to their grave. They spend precious time thinking about how they should have understood someone's needs better, could have been more patient, would have done any number of things better, if only they knew then what they know now. Read more →


Dear Carol: I’m wondering if you have advice for people who are shamed by others who judge their caregiving. I am an around-the-clock caregiver and have been for several years. I love my dad unconditionally and owe him everything. We live in an extremely rural area and don’t have access to agencies that can come in for a few hours so it’s me or no one. I get stressed and emotionally tired. Then, when I do take a little time away, I hear from outsiders about how I’ll regret it and how they’d be thrilled to care for their parent and would never complain. I’m sorry if I sound bitter but they truly have no idea. CG Read more →


A friend recently faced the task of letting her mother, who has mid-level dementia, know that the mother’s elderly brother had died. This death was not unexpected, but when a person has dementia and short-term memory loss is a problem, the news would likely be unexpected by the mother. Read more →


Often, it’s ourselves we need to forgive, especially for thinking we should be perfect when we’re not. However, even if our care receiver or a friend is basically at fault, we are still the biggest beneficiary of our forgiveness. Doing so frees us from building up resentment about others, which is basically self-punishment because we obsess over the negative instead of moving forward with a positive attitude. Read more →


Heads nod and often tears flow. Many people feel ashamed to admit to even an inkling of relief. One brave friend told me she had to fake sadness at her mother’s funeral. Oh, she was truly sad to lose that last remnant of her mother, but she’d been sadder before, as she watches cancer ravage her mother’s frail body. Read more →


Dear Carol: My husband and I cared for my mom in our home for several years before she passed away two months ago. The first two weeks I was nearly paralyzed with grief. After that, like someone flipped a switch, I went into a wild cleaning and tossing out spree. I just had to do something. Now, I’ve sunk into a low that’s hard to explain. I don’t want to get out of bed, shower, or even talk to anyone. I’ve been taking antidepressants for years, and have done well on them. I don’t think that my depression is making my depression worse since I know what that feels like, but I will see my doctor next month. Do you hear of these things with others?– ER Read more →


Forgiveness, or the lack there of, can loom large in the life of a caregiver. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. That is rule number one for people to remember when they are working toward crafting better relationships with family members and others whom they care about. Forgiveness can have enormous benefits for the health of the person who does the forgiving. Considering that negative thinking can be disastrous to your own health, you may want to work toward the positive habit of forgiveness. Here are some people that you may need to forgive along with reasons why you should. Read more →


Nothing can make it easy for us to watch the cognitive decline of someone we love. Nothing will take away the agony of seeing loved ones so changed from the individuals they used to be. But imaginatively entering into their world is the most effective way to survive, and occasionally enjoy, the world of dementia caregiving. Read more →


Hospice organizations are keenly aware of the soothing power of music. Sometimes the music may be used casually, by the facility or the family, knowing that this is a type of music that the person who is in the dying process had always enjoyed. Increasingly, though, employing trained music therapists has been favored. Read more →


...Since I’m a dementia caregiver with my own history, I quite naturally wanted to understand the thoughts of other dementia caregivers on this issue, so I asked several of them for input. As one would expect, responses to my question varied, though not one of those who responded mentioned Valentine’s Day itself as being a trigger for showing love. Here is a sampling of caregiver responses: Read more →