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How to Stop Family Conflict in Dementia Caregiving

How do you handle family conflict when dementia caregiving?

Dealing with family conflict is a common yet challenging aspect of dementia caregiving. In this episode of the "Dementia Caregiving for Families," we explore how to navigate this difficult terrain with the help of live coaching.

Live Coaching Session: Real-Time Solutions

In this unique episode, Lizette introduces us to Pam, a dedicated caregiver from Greenville, South Carolina. Pam shares her 20-year journey of caring for her father and now her mother, both diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She highlights the emotional and logistical hurdles faced when siblings are not on the same page.

Understanding Family Dynamics

Pam's story underscores a significant issue: sibling denial and lack of support. Her brothers were initially in denial about their father’s condition and continue to be unresponsive regarding their mother’s care.

This denial often leads to misunderstandings and unmet expectations, adding stress to an already challenging situation.

Stages of Caregiver Readiness

The episode introduces an insightful concept – caregiver readiness to change.

It outlines different stages caregivers go through:

  1. Pre-contemplation: Denial of the problem.
  2. Contemplation: Awareness of the issue but no action.
  3. Preparation: Recognizing the need for change.
  4. Action: Implementing changes.
  5. Maintenance: Sustaining and adapting to changes.

Understanding these stages can help caregivers manage their expectations and frustrations.

Practical Strategies for Managing Conflict

Lizette advises caregivers to manage their expectations and communicate clearly with family members.

Here are some practical strategies discussed:

  • Educate and Inform: Continually update siblings about the loved one's condition and needs.
  • Seek External Support: Engage with support groups or seek professional counseling if family support is lacking.
  • Adjust Expectations: Accept that not all family members will be as involved or supportive as needed.
  • Focus on What You Can Control: Concentrate on your actions and responses rather than trying to change others.

Finding Strength in Faith

The episode emphasizes the importance of faith in the caregiving journey. Knowing that God has a plan and finding solace in scripture can provide the strength and perseverance needed to continue.

Conclusion: You Are Not Alone

Pam's experience highlights that even though family conflict can make dementia caregiving more challenging, understanding and managing these conflicts can lead to better outcomes. Engaging with a supportive community and utilizing available resources can make a significant difference.

Listen to the Podcast

Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts.

a man holding a child on his shoulders | Family Conflict in Dementia Caregiving

Introduction to Dementia Caregiving for Families

[0:01] What's up, Christian caregiver? It's Lizette, your dementia coach, and you are listening to Dementia Caregiving for Families. It's the show where I teach Bible-believing Christians how to make Alzheimer's and dementia care easy by giving you hope and help so you can create moments of joy and make memories together. This is a brand new type of an episode. We are inviting to this episode 132 a member of my community by the name of Pam, where you are going to be seeing some live coaching in action related to how to stop family conflict when dementia caregiving. So I'm very excited about these episodes. We'll be doing one a month and you are welcome to apply to actually be a part of the program. If you would like to be a part of the program, if you would like a short coaching session.

[1:13] You can actually email me at [email protected] and let me know that you're interested in being coached on the podcast because I want to serve you and serve you well. And if you are not ready for that level of intimacy or coaching, there's another way that you can get some live coaching And that is through the once a month Ask the Dementor coaching session, Ask the Dementia Coach. And the next one is June 20th, which is this coming Thursday. So you still have time to sign up for that. The website is in the show notes, but if you're interested and you have a way to jot it down, it's DementiaCareGivingMadeEasy.com slash ask. So those are two ways that you can interact with me and be on this program. I would love to be able to serve you in this way. But without further ado, let us do and join our live coaching session with Pam.

Live Coaching Session with Pam

[2:37] Have you recently found out someone you love has dementia? Struggling to wrap your head around how to be a Christian caregiver? Searching for answers by joining countless Facebook groups, but find them toxic? Learning how to cope with dementia feels difficult, but learning a Christian caregiving worldview can be easy. Hey, brother and sister in Christ, I'm Lizette, Occupational therapist, pastor's wife, turned dementia coach, and a daughter of dementia. In this podcast, you will learn the truth that the way to make dementia care easy is your faith. Knowing that a loving God has decreed this hard providence in your life makes all the difference. Here you will gain skills. You will be challenged by what God says in his word about caregiving, and you will learn exactly what dementia is and is not. Find clarity and certainty from God's word so you have perseverance for this journey. Use science-backed solutions and biblical principles to redeem your time. Praying this blesses you as we dive into dementia from a Christian perspective. Let's glorify God despite dementia.

Special Episode with Pam: Family Conflict and Caregiving

[4:04] Well, welcome to episode 132. And today is a very, very special day because I have a good, she is actually becoming like a super, super good friend of mine. But she is a client of mine in our Dementia Caregiving Made Easy coaching program, where we work together on a weekly basis to work through some challenging situations that always seem to come up when you're taking care of somebody living with dementia. And so today I thought we would do something a little bit different. I wanted to bring to you guys a live coaching opportunity so you can see what it looks and feels like to actually receive dementia coaching. So Pam, thank you so much for being willing to be my guinea pig. I'm super excited to have you here. Why don't you tell people a little bit about who it is that you help and how long you've been a caregiver and maybe why you ended up joining the program anyway. And then we'll talk a little bit about some of the challenges that you're experiencing right now.

[5:15] Okay. My name is Pam and I live in Greenville, South Carolina. So I was very excited to meet Lisette because when I figured out she lived in town, I needed to meet her. So my original thought was having her come and speak at my support groups that I facilitate here in town. But after having the coffee with her, I realized I'm the one that needs her.

[5:38] Personally so my journey began about 20 years ago my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's he had come off a bipolar diagnosis and then it started getting really sweet we didn't understand, where the bipolar went and was very thankful that with the diagnosis of Alzheimer's it seemed to have a lot of his symptoms go away with the roller coaster and we were on a different journey with Alzheimer's. So it was actually a way better way for my father to pass away, make better memories with my mother than having the bipolar. So I took care of daddy for 12 years. He lived next door. We set up our homes so that we had two mobile homes side by side. We shared expenses because my parents had gotten into a lot of debt. And so we realized that they needed help and yet we needed to be nearby.

[6:31] So we were able to sell both of of our homes we bought two mobile homes in a retirement park which worked out great we had great neighbors and like I said shared expenses and then my father passed eight years ago my mother lived there next door for about two years by herself and was starting to show signs of not locking the door burning food taking calls on the phone without any screening or wanted to donate make money and i said to my husband you know we're going to have to really pray about this because i'm going to need to know when really is the right time to start thinking about our other options for mom we did look in for a in-home care person to move in with my mother and the lady didn't my mother had dementia so that wasn't going to work out and i said um we need to um to just know when it'd be the right time well one morning after praying about that she showed up at my door with our Laney clothes no teeth no glasses and said she was lost and she didn't know where she was and I said well come on in mom you're just in time for breakfast and we acted like no big deal but I looked at my husband that morning I said we need to move her in for about so that she And after we did that, a lot of her anxiety went away.

[7:57] She no longer had to take pills. She no longer had to maintain the house and try to function on her own. And I guess she was really lonely.

[8:07] And so after we moved her in, it did seem like her dementia got better only because I think a lot of the anxiety went away. But after we moved her in, the short-term memory thing, can't remember this, can't remember that, it's still there.

Pam's Caregiving Journey and Sibling Challenges

[8:23] She's been with us now six years, so this journey has been 20 years. I think my biggest difficulty and one of the reasons I did sign up for this coaching was how to deal with siblings that just are not on board. When my father had his diagnosis, my brothers were very much in denial. I have a sister who's really been very distant from the family for many, many years anyway. So I couldn't count on her but at least I thought the boys would step up and help out, so with my father and his passing that was kind of a wake up call for them that oh when I called them and told them that he was in hospice what are you doing that for? I said because he's dying and they all came and saw him in all his glory and said why don't you call sooner I've been trying to call you all sooner you know you're just not getting this, So when I tried to talk to them about my mother and some of the changes that have happened, I'm like trying to give them some warning, and they're not listening. In fact, they're still in denial. Their comment to my son one day was, if you tell somebody long enough that they have dementia, they will start believing it. Hmm, I'd like you to look with her for a little bit, see how that works for you.

[9:46] That's a challenge. And my children are very supportive, they help me on this journey, but I think there's times when a large expense will come up. My mother needed a urinate recently and we asked my brothers for some help with that, you know, to the tune of a hundred dollars. No, can't help you with that. And I don't know why, but I'm not going to pursue it. It was kind of a fleece anyway. We had the money set aside for her for this, but just thought I'd see if I was even getting any response.

[10:17] No we weren't so so that's been kind of the challenge and trying not to be bitter about the situation or have an angst they will call well they'll send a text to my mother and my mother isn't very handy with the phone the smartphone she can't she can't do much but she answers the phone it's a miracle and so my brothers will complain that they will try to send her a text but she doesn't respond and I say that's because she has the new job but I say it's best if you just call her and you know if I hear the phone I'll make sure she picks up but you know it's just too hard for them you know I don't know, they're both retired so it isn't like they have work things that they have to think about and they're both married and their wives have not stepped up none of their children have stepped up so So, it's been a bit frustrating. It is super, super frustrating. So, let me, I've never actually asked you this. Do either of them live close by geographically? One in Virginia and one in Florida. And the one in Virginia will drive right through town to go visit the brother in Florida.

[11:35] That's super interesting. Well, first of all, I'd like to say I know how hard it is to have conflict in your family when everything is normal and fine.

[11:49] We had a fair amount of conflict in my family growing up, so I'm certainly not immune to family conflict. But how to contend with it when you're the primary caregiver and the person that you're taking care of is living with you. And then you have your siblings who may or may not recognize what's going on adds another layer of complexity to a dementia caregiving journey. So I know how hard and how frustrating it is, especially in light of the fact that I know that your sister actually works for the Alzheimer's Association in another state. So that's doubly difficult. But let's unpack that a little bit just today related to how to manage our expectations related to dementia and dementia caregiving. And I don't know if we've ever actually spoken about this in the coaching calls before, that there's actually a way of knowing how ready a caregiver is to change. Have we actually spoken about that yet?

[13:09] Oh, interesting. Well, cool. So I think it's possibly because, you know, sometimes we want to be cognizant of other people too. So I don't go into a lot of the, into the weeds with a lot of my answers, but I think this might be actually helpful to you to understand. There's a thing called caregiver readiness to change.

Caregiver Readiness to Change

[13:34] And in order for a caregiver, and this is more than just a caregiver, this is legitimately for a person to be willing or ready, to actually change doing something, they have to be ready. The first phase of that is what's called pre-contemplation.

[13:57] So at pre-contemplation, related to dementia and dementia caregiving, this is what it looks like. Mom's just old.

[14:08] She's always been there. There's nothing wrong. There's nothing wrong. These people do not even have an awareness that there is a problem, right? So that's pre-contemplation. The only thing one can do when a person's family members are in pre-contemplation is continue to educate and tell them what's going on, and express the changes coming on. But I'm pretty sure you've heard me say this in other places. This is the ostrich, right? The person that has their head in the sand, and they're just going, la, la, la, la, la. I don't want to hear it. Okay? So that's the first one. The next one is called contemplation. And a caregiver who is in a contemplation is all of a sudden starting to become aware that there's a problem they're starting to notice things but it's like ah i don't need to do anything about it yet so they're they're more aware that there's a problem going on but they're not yet ready to actually do something they're starting to you know the the nether regions they made it's like oh that wasn't normal.

[15:29] Maybe we should you know that doesn't make sense and so they're starting to become aware that something's going on in a pre-con in a pre-contemplation phase required education education what's going on education what's going on then the next phase is the preparation phase this is like houston there's a problem but i don't know if i really need to do anything about it yet Thank you. So in our coaching community, one of our members, the younger gentleman who's supporting his grandmother, his uncle is in this preparation phase. He knows there's something wrong. He can tell us, like the uncle tells, right? Right. I know my mom has dementia, but he's not actually really ready to implement changes. He's starting to think he needs to do stuff, but he's really not doing anything yet. Would you agree? Yes. The next phase is when a person gets into that action phase.

[16:46] Which is where they finally are like, Houston, there's a problem. Oh crud I've got to do something to fix this what do I do and so they'll start trying lots of different things and putting things together and you're in the action.

Action Phase in Caregiver Readiness

[17:08] This is where a person is willing and ready to they it's more than accept know that there's something wrong, they know they've got to do things differently and they start to do things differently. One of my clients many years ago, a patient that I had, when I started working with them, dad had undiagnosed low body dementia and I walked into the house and they were in the middle of a bathroom remodel because they knew he couldn't get into the shower anymore. So they They recognize there's a problem. They knew they had to do something, and they were in the process of fixing it.

[17:50] So that's the action phase. The next one is called maintenance. And this is where I say you're kind of between action and maintenance, because what will happen as we've been doing this for a while, we get to the maintenance phase. So we know what's wrong. We're maintaining what's going on. we have a lot of information, but then something happens and changes, right? Your mom has a UTI right now. So you're back into the action phase. But when that resolves itself, you'll go back into maintenance phase. When something else happens, you'll bump down into the action phase. You'll get more information again and keep trying different things, which is what we do a lot in the coaching, right? And then when things are smoother, you're back into the maintenance phase. So, these different levels of change, a person has to go through these stages in order to be an effective caregiver. Having said that, not everybody will.

[18:57] So related to the frustration that I know you have related specifically to your siblings is the only thing that we can do is manage your expectations, right? So another thing that I've noticed over time is where we as caregivers get frustrated is when there's a gap between the reality and what we think it should be.

[19:28] Whether it be you know mom mom's really functioning at say eight out of a ten but i think she's a five out of a ten and she's super frustrated with me because i've taken everything away and i won't let her do anything or mom's at a five out of a ten but i think she's only a two out of a ten in abilities, so I've taken everything away from her, or I expect her to do more than what she, I'm sorry, other way around. She's a two, and I think she's a five, and we get frustrated because she's not able to actually do things. So related to dementia, when we have these gaps, that's where we get frustrated. So after explaining or, you know, going through that, related to your siblings, what does that bring up for you? What are you experiencing right now?

[20:35] Do you feel alone and isolated and need a little bit more help and support in this journey? Journey sign up for our next ask the dementor monthly meetup where we will come together less than 10 people are allowed to sign up at a time so we can have fellowship where we can answer questions where you can get some Christian guidance and just an awareness that you are not alone on this journey. I really want you to be able to connect with me. I want to be able to answer your specific questions. So if you're struggling, if you're tired, if you're overwhelmed, if you're stressed, if you just need a little bit of help, sign up for the next Ask the Dementor monthly meetup. The link is in the show notes below.

[21:35] Well, we just had my brother invited my mother to a wedding of his son and didn't invite me. And my mother called my brother and said, why didn't you invite Pam? Because she needs to come because she's my caregiver. You don't need a caregiver. So clearly he's not. And he said, we'll just take care of it. However, this is the brother that I did allow my mother to go there for. It was supposed to be a week's vacation, and their dog bit my mother, and they refused to take my mother to urgent care. So this isn't something that I have even brought up again and discussed. I did drop her off at my other brother's in Virginia. We took a vacation in October and didn't really say much in the way of prep

lizette as a family caregiver

Reflecting on Past Family Dynamics

[22:28] because, again, he's in denial. But I did chat with my sister-in-law, who did take care of her mother with Alzheimer's. So I said, the only reason I'm leaving her here is because of you. Like, I know that you're going to take care of my mom and you understand what I'm dealing with. She said, yes. So when I came home, I decided to just throw out a fleece and said to my brother, did you notice any change? And he said, yeah, a little bit. Not going to admit that he saw any change. But he complained a lot about my mother's actions.

[22:58] She spent too much time on her phone or she was not engaging or actually just was checked out and i did that how she is right so can i i've never actually asked you this before pam did you guys have conflict in your relationship before even all of this dementia yeah.

[23:18] Not really. I mean, they had their lives. We had ours. But we would visit one another and have pleasant times. I have to say it really happened when probably, I mean, I think about it. I think maybe there's some jealousy with the brothers, which I don't know why, because they were both full-fledged into their careers 20 years ago when my parents moved down from Massachusetts. None of them had the capability of taking my parents on. They all had young families. they all had other things going on so it was just a natural choice for my parents to move here because this is where their grandchildren lived their their great-grandchildren lived they just had more family here and we've always invited the family up you know to come and see my parents and they stay with us on the couch or whatever sometimes they stay in a hotel but we've never not um had them i mean there really hasn't been much conflict i will say that But my brother, Steve, has come down from Virginia one time when mother ended up with some blood clots and she was in the hospital and I was out of town and my husband was working full time and my brother did come down. So, you know, I made a big deal about that. You know, so thankful that you were there, that really helped my family, you know, and whatnot. But there just hasn't been much dialogue about why they aren't more supportive. Mm-hmm.

[24:43] So what kind of help do you think you need from them that would make you feel like they were supporting you?

[24:53] Have you ever thought of that? Yes. Yes. I would love them to take her to come and stay in their home, you know, without any conflict. When my mother went to Florida, because my brother doesn't think my mother has dementia, he put her in a camper in the backyard by herself at night. And she had a great deal of anxiety about that. And I think they feel, because I'm the oldest, that I'm probably very bossy with them. I try not to be. So I'm not, you know, once you went down there, like, I'm not going to get involved. I'm going to let them do what they're going to do and the best that they can do. But when my mother told them, you know, I don't want to be in the camper alone or that kind of thing, they don't listen. They don't change the plan.

[25:37] And so that's when I get involved. In consideration with where your mom is right now, since I know you have a fair amount of background in this, since you're an Alzheimer's support group facilitator, do you feel comfortable still at her level of dementia sending her to stay with them? No. Okay. So that feeling of support, if it's not a practical thing because of her level of dementia, what else could possibly, what can we work towards implementing that you feel like they are supporting you? If you're looking for a sense of support. Court it would be nice if they would just come and stay here with my mother okay right now we have to pay for people to come and stay because i want 24-hour care for my mom um if we go out of town and so that would be nice if they would just come and stay with her but.

[26:49] Uh have you asked them no because since the dog incident i haven't really talked to my youngest brother. I wouldn't say I'm mad at him, but you know, he's never acknowledged that he was in the wrong. You know, he still thinks that he has a different narrative now. He didn't know that the dog bit my mother. He was in the room when it happened. So his.

[27:16] So the reality is we cannot make people do or recognize things that they're not ready to do or recognize right so one of one of the the biggest solutions one of the biggest things for me related to being in boarding school and it was extremely difficult and I had a tremendous sense of abandonment and woe is me.

[27:44] How could this happen to me? All of the drama that people go through when they have a traumatic experience was the awareness that I finally came to that I needed to have a spirit of being willing to forgive my parents for what they quote unquote did to me related to boarding school because it was not a great situation boarding school was really difficult related to your brother and the incident with your mom being bitten right you can't change that whole thing that happened and if he doesn't have an awareness of his part or role in it, the only thing that you can do is be willing to forgive him should he ever ask you, but just letting it go. Right. Because it's not going, we can only change how we respond. We cannot change somebody else's actions.

[28:49] Right. So in regards to the invitation that was just recently sent.

[28:54] I had to really pray through that. And finally just said, I'm not going to poke the bear. I'm not going to confront my brother about why I didn't get invited. They even misspelled my mother's name on the invitation, which I probably was more upset about than my mother. And I just threw that in the trash and said, you know, it's just not worth getting upset about. Nothing I can do to change it. We think for better, but, you know, If he were to call and say, sorry, you know, I'm ready to forgive. So is this the brother in Florida still? Yeah. Okay. Is it a daughter that's getting married?

[29:32] And I also didn't get invited to their daughter's wedding in November. And again, my mother said, why am I invited and my daughter's not? Have you actually asked your brother? No. Okay. Okay, so the only way to resolve that is by actually asking, asking and being willing to hear what the, what the answer is and if it's, if it's not worth it, you know, I agree, you know, not my circus, not my monkeys, it goes in the trash, but if it's bothering you, the only way to resolve that conflict is to actually ask.

Dealing with Family Event Exclusions

[30:13] But I have an observation on the name. I could be way off, but you could consider that it was the girl. Oh, yeah. Oh, it was her family. It was definitely her family that invited. Right. The family name is Wilson. Right. And my mother's invocation came Cynthia Wilcox.

[30:33] Yeah, but that's an easy error. I know. When you're trying to. When the other parents are Hecox. So, combination of the two. Yeah, there you go, for sure. For sure. Well, I know it's hard. I know it's hard to work through conflict in the family. But one of the biggest things that I want you to consider taking away from today's conversation is really think through where in those levels your brothers might be related to her dementia. Because if they're at a pre-contemplation or a contemplation perspective it kind of sounds like your one brother is pre-contemplation and the other one is contemplation the one has maybe a little bit more awareness than the other one yeah i would say that as typical men they really are good problem solvers so my parents into that mobile home my brother came and built the decks and did whatever it took he even tiled a shower stall for my dad because and built it because he needed a walk-in shower for that. They're good problem solvers. So if I was ever called and say, hey, you know, I've got a problem.

[31:43] But on this level, Well, so the reality of the matter is you're mostly through that problem-solving phase. Yeah, right. Because you're really in the maintenance phase. So tapping into their problem-solving strength is not necessarily going to be supportive to you. But maybe something you could consider is reaching out to your sister-in-law in Virginia who does have more of an awareness instead of going through your brother when you need to, but give a lot of leeway and a lot of time and say, hey, we really need to be able to go away here. Can you and my brother come here for a week and help us and try some strategies like that? But I know it's super, super hard. I recognize that. I'm extremely grateful. My sister lives in New Hampshire. My parents are still living alone, but we do provide a lot of supervision and oversight. And my sister's like always, like, whatever you think needs to happen, I'm super happy with that.

[32:58] So i know this i used to think i used to think when i would have these support groups and people would have all this conflict with their siblings they'd say you know i could handle this alzheimer's or this diagnosis if i didn't have to deal with fighting siblings so i used to think when they weren't involved i would think i don't have any conflict really you know and so i was thankful that i mean basically they've left me alone for 20 years you know but i also recognize that it It is frustrating to you. Yes. Well, I just don't want the conflict. I'm just tired of the conflict. I would love to just be able to call and say I've had a rough week with mom. I just need you to pray for me.

[33:38] But I just don't feel like I could do that. So what I want you to consider is you know that they aren't going to provide you that level of support. So that may not be a good solution, is to find other people that you can call. That I do. Right. But to give yourself permission to say, I will tell you when something's going on that you need to know. But for the rest, I'm going to let you be. and i think that'll help you not perceive that it's a constant conflict i know this whole wedding thing probably brought it up again you know up to the up to the a little bit more aware of it But at the same time, just maybe just, I 100% agree with you. Like if, when they're leaving you alone, there's no conflict. But just to really consider that letting it roll like a duck over your back and just saying they do not have the ability to do this, as opposed to stirring it up in your own heart and mind, and just then things will simmer down again.

Seeking Support Beyond Family Members

[35:04] And I know we're doing the right thing because when my mom comes home from these vacations with the brothers she'll always say i'm in the best place ever you're the best caregiver you're the best you know and so that does my heart good i just wish that um i wasn't the conflict i could live life with a lot of conflict and have other conflict in my life with my own children.

[35:30] Conflict is never any fun no i hope this was helpful to you to kind of look at it in a little bit of a different way and another thing to to consider is to try to reframe your mind around perceiving this as conflict and i can guarantee you one thing they don't think there's a conflict no i i think they do know yeah i don't think they're thinking about it pam, well that's the incident with the hearing aids that kind of poked the bear and i thought you You know, that kind of told me. Right, but it brought it up. But they've moved on. Yeah. They're not thinking about it anymore. No. They don't. They're not. And the reason I really believe that is if they were, they would be on the phone and you guys would be, like, truly fighting. Fighting they they they hear you at that time and then they've moved on but you haven't.

[36:38] You kind of think about it and because you're in it, right? You see the results for your mom. Right. Yeah, and that's the difficult part is that she constantly, and I don't try to bring up any conflict that I have with my siblings in front of her, obviously, because I don't want her beating up my energy about it because I want her to just be happy. But she's kind of come into a place, too, where she realizes that she doesn't really have them as part of her support team either, which is sad, you know, and she really wants that. Two years ago, the only thing she asked for for her birthday was a party where everybody came. So we made it work, and they all came into town. They flew into town for 12 hours and spent all of three with my mother.

[37:30] And you know and that hurt because you're in town but you're not with me right they'd rather be together just as themselves the other three um yeah and that's just the reality of it i can't fix it or change it and we did the best we could with the time we had with them and took a big family picture and rah rah and all style but you're doing so hypocritical for them. Right, but you can only change your behavior and how you respond. We cannot change their behavior and how they respond. Just consider.

Finding Strength and Purpose in Caregiving

[38:15] You have the better end of the deal. I do. Because you are going to come through this knowing that you have done everything. Yes. And that was my promise to my dad that we will take care of mom. So I know that my dad would be very proud of me for so many things. He would love to know that I was helping people with this journey by being a facilitator in these groups. and the knowledge that I can just pass on and actually the sympathy that I give people regarding the situation. You know, people come to me for advice and they know that I know what I'm talking about because I'm living it. So that's pretty powerful. You know, if I get cancer, people will want to know how to do the cancer journey. Well, this is a dementia journey. Some days I felt like I walked around with a t-shirt that said, you know, my dad has dementia because this was constantly bombarded with questions. So, and then my mom's very thankful that I can help all these people too. So, you know, if not for nothing else, I just say to my mom, that, um, that, you know, I wanted the Lord to say, well done. So if you have one piece of advice for somebody contending with family conflict, from your perspective, what would that be?

[39:31] Well, this is what I tell myself. Jesus is enough. I don't have to have my identity is not in being a sister or a caregiver my identity is in Christ and he fills in all the gaps and so I don't see anything good.

Pam's Advice on Family Conflict: Jesus is Enough

[39:50] Because I just can't say anything more. I mean, he saved me and redeemed me, and he saved my life. I know. I don't know how people do it without being. Yeah, for sure. For sure. All right, sweet friend. Thank you so much for being. You're welcome. Thank you for bearing your heart and being willing to do this episode with me. I know it's not easy to talk about some of this stuff in front of other people, But my hope and prayer is that these episodes, these coaching episodes will help people kind of see and understand that there is a difference related to going somewhere and just getting generalized information and working through specific problems. So I appreciate you. Well, I appreciate you. I couldn't be doing this as well without my dementia coach. Thank you so much. I'm very thankful for you. Awesome.

[40:51] Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker. I pour my heart and soul into this program to serve you. You can serve me by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts and join our free Facebook group, Dementia Caregiving for Families. It's a positive and proactive space to navigate dementia caregiving together. Get practical tools and find support, but without the verbal vomit. Be a part of our community where we seek to find peace of mind and ease despite the dementia diagnosis. So join today and see you next time as our flight takes off.

lizette cloete on laptop

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About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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