Caregiver Feature: Laura (@dear_dementia)
This week, we are featuring Laura (@dear_dementia)! Laura cares for her mother who was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. She is brutally honest about her experience as a caregiver and open to talking about her feelings and thoughts. Laura is relatable to so many caregivers as she shares her struggles balancing family-life, work-life, and caregiving. Enjoy reading her interview! Thanks Laura!!
Follow Laura on Instagram at @dear_dementia.
What skills are you most proud of gaining since you started caregiving?
"The caregiving experience has taught me so much. I’ve learned that there are so many things I have no control over but I always have control over how I react."
What do you like to do for self-care?
"First of all, I can’t stress how important self-care is. I’ve not always done this over the years and I feel the difference when I do and don’t. Some of my favorite activities are writing (very therapeutic for me) and some form of exercise (a Zumba class or getting outside and going for a walk)."
What is a favorite memory you have taking care of your aging loved one?
"One memory that stands out is when my Mama was brought home by the police. My husband was working in the front yard and noticed a police car drive by. Then he noticed it drove by again. The third time he caught a glimpse of my Mama sitting in the front seat 🤦🏻♀️.
Apparently she had left the house and walked down to a school (which is just a few houses down). It was a warm afternoon and it was apparent to the staff who was still there that she was “confused” and they were worried about her being dehydrated. Of course I felt like “Daughter of the Year” because I hadn’t even realized she had left the house. We installed a latch on the front door after that day. She was totally fine so now it makes me laugh a little when I think about that day.."
What is the best part of caregiving?
"Knowing that you are giving someone you love the greatest gift: love, time, security, etc.."
What is the hardest part of caregiving?
"The guilt. It’s hard to truly understand what it feels like to be a caregiver unless you’ve actually been one. It’s complex and so many emotions are involved. It’s sometimes hard to admit but I’ve struggled with feeing anger, resentment and/or frustration at times. I try to be an amazing wife, Mama, daughter, friend, etc...I often feel like I’m stretched so thin that I’m not doing enough for anyone!"
How do you make caregiving fun?
"Laugh... whenever I can. You have to seek out the humor in the situations/challenges you face... I promise it’s there ;)."
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Laura!