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A New Start
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
If you live in New England you are relieved to see spring come after an unprecedented winter of snow. Spring is always a time of renewal. My garden is already up and growing when only 4 weeks ago my yard had 4 feet of snow still piled up.
The winter was hard on caregivers and their family member with dementia; confined to home more, confused and afraid of the amount of snow outside their window and helpers often late or unable to get there at all. Our coaching sessions here at StilMee were minimal for March as there was no place to park.
All that aside, it is spring and a chance to start anew in the care partnering journey. Find yourself a support group. Call the leader and ask the composition of the group. Are they mostly adult children? Spouses? Go to one that will support you through the journey with education and good ideas from others in the group. I sometimes feel my group would run itself if I weren't there. Each member reaches out to the others, offers insight, empathy and encouragement.
If your health is compromised, find treatment. Get your yearly exam from your doctor. Follow through on his or her suggestions. Change some unhelpful habits. Get out and walk. Walking is good for you and if your family member can, take him along. No need for talk; just enjoy the walk. It is important for the mobile person to exercise; it is uplifting (endorphins increase heightening mood) and it expends energy which if not expended can lead to restlessness and irritability. I walk almost every day 3 miles to 'clear my head' just putting one foot ahead of the other. I chose a local old cemetery to walk; one round on the periphery is 1 mile, then I go up and down the paths in between. No one bothers me there, the traffic is minimal and the various old monuments (some from 1861 or before) are fascinating. If a cemetery doesn't interest you, find a park or last resort, walk the mall (ugh for me).
So, start fresh. Happy Spring!
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