I often get asked what I did to cope with my mom’s Alzheimer’s while she was living with the disease for ten years. While I’ve written about each of these things before, I’ve never compiled a list of all of them together. So, here’s a list of the four things that helped me cope with my mom’s Alzheimer’s the most.
1. Lowering my expectations. When I expected too much from my mom or our time together, I was usually disappointed. When I lowered my expectations—or didn’t have any at all—I was often surprised that things went better than I thought they would. Even if things didn’t go well, I wasn’t as disappointed because I had no expectations in the first place.
2. Making gratitude lists. After I called or visited my mom, I wrote down all of the good things that happened during our time together. This forced me to focus more on the good so I would have things to put on my list. It got me into the habit of seeking out the good stuff and the joyful moments rather than dwelling on all the bad.
3. Connecting with others who were going through the same thing. Starting my blog and joining support groups on Facebook allowed me to connect with others who were going through the same thing. It helped me see that I wasn’t alone and that brought me a lot of comfort.
4. Writing about what I was going through. I started writing about my experience a few years after my mom’s diagnosis. Writing about my thoughts and feelings allowed me to process them. It forced me to deal with what I was going through rather than hide from it. Writing is extremely therapeutic and I’m convinced that it helped me cope more than anything else.
Are you already doing any of the things on this list? Are you looking forward to trying any of them for yourself? Let me know in the comments!
*If this post resonated with you, you should check out my mentoring services for Alzheimer’s daughters.
**If you liked this post, you would love my book “When Only Love Remains: Surviving My Mom’s Battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.” It’s available on all Amazon marketplaces.