Do you know about mindfulness? It is an intentional state of mind — a mind without judgement. It means living in the moment. Mindfulness can be achieved through practiced meditation.
Why mindfulness? Because using mindfulness causes you to fully think out each reaction; thoughts are processed purposefully. If you are trying to get your loved one to perform a task that he or she is not typically happy to do, stop and think for a minute. Ask how the person is doing, or how the day was. Ease into the question you want answered.
A person with dementia gets frustrated easily. By using a slower purposeful thought process, reactions won’t be made hastily.
Mindfulness is also about love. Taking the time to take in your surroundings and thoughts opens your heart to love and kindness. Love is supposed to be a two-way street. When you are faced with a situation where someone may no longer know who you are, and may not show you that he or she loves you, it is easy to be upset and hurt. If you practice mindfulness, you will look at the complete situation rather than react to the possible rejection.
To begin, start thinking about your breathing. Pay attention to everything around you. Take it all in, sounds, smells. Be aware of your body, how the air feels on your skin. By learning these skills and practicing them in your everyday life you may find you are better prepared to be a caregiver for your loved one.
For more about the practice of mindfulness, see: