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• Connecting more deeply or reconnecting with the loved one;
• Learning compassion;
• Finding personal fortitude and empowerment;
• Enhancing one’s resourcefulness and problem-solving abilities;
• Learning that daunting challenges are surmountable.
A heightened awareness of one’s own mortality, and questions about spirit and of life’s meaning, also visit the caregiver. It’s not selfish to consider these things while caring for another. In fact, says Colagrande, it’s a good time to explore the spiritual dimension of your life. “Consider it a learning experience on the spiritual level and ask yourself: ‘In what direction does this circumstance point me as a new way to grow?’ Approaching it from this point of view offers the opportunity to impart meaning and hope to a task that is otherwise capable of drowning us in a sea of hopelessness and despair.”
Albany County Department for Aging
Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center
Cohoes: (518) 238-4164
Caregiver Assistance, New York State Office of the Aging
www.nehealth.com; (518) 274-3382
The Savvy Caregiver Program, New York Capital Region
William Colagrande, MS
www.i4hd.com; (845) 339-6250
The Caregiving Years: Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey by Denise Brown: www.caregiving.com/years/index.htm.