I Can C.A.R.E.

g-j_sunSteve and I are part of a support group for people with early to moderate memory loss and their spouse. The group starts together and then breaks into separate groups for the caregiver and the caree. In my group, the caregiver has given us the acronym C.A.R. We should not confront, argue or rationalize with our caree.

I am tired of being told what I can’t do, which I know probably makes me sound like a spoiled child! With Steve, his cognitive problems aren’t severe, and I think that if he does something out of the ordinary, I should tell him. Is that confronting? If it was something I felt he had no control over, I wouldn’t say anything.

Sometimes I argue, but I don’t mean to. It starts out innocently enough, like a conversation, and then the discussion dissolves into more of a debate, and it’s always over something stupid. I try hard to keep my mouth shut.

I decided that I wanted to think of things I can do because there are too many things I can’t do any longer. For example, I can’t vent to my husband about something that happened and have any idea how he’ll respond. I can’t tell him my knee hurts because I just rammed it into the counter and expect any sympathy.  I added an “E” to C.A.R., and realized I can C.A.R.E., and came up with meanings for each letter.

C – cry, create, continue, call, change (myself)

A – adjust, acknowledge, advocate, allow

R – read, relax, reaffirm, rest, reconnect, reflect

E – enjoy, energize, exercise, escape, evaluate, educate

What would you add to the list?

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