Begin anew. Breathe. Notice. Balance. Strive. Understand. Ask for help. Make a date. Care for yourself. Laugh. Have courage. Forgive. Simplify. Accept. Sleep. Pet a pet. Don’t be afraid. Socialize. Trust in the Lord. Forgive yourself. Walk. Think positively. Drink Water. Listen to music. Don’t worry. Remember. Smile. Call on the saints. Catch some rays. Eat Well. Take a break. Ask for forgiveness. Cry. Connect. Be aware. Draw. Be silent. Appreciate your blessings. Enjoy nature. Embrace the present. Pause. Celebrate. Talk to someone. Treat yourself. See Christ in your loved one. Prepare. Retreat. Get lost. Exercise. Pay attention. Know you’re not alone. Enjoy the gift of life.
The brief messages in this book offer manageable doses of encouragement and suggestions throughout the year. Read one chapter at a time or spread a chapter out over a week by reading one section at a time or per day.
Each weekly reflection follows a rotation that includes a photo, prayer, thought, activity, stretch, affirmation, quote, and bit of humor to offer guidance, encouragement, improved self-talk, and maybe a smile. Because the weekly chapters are not dated, you can start at the beginning of the book and read through one chapter a week.
From the Introduction
“Whether your loved one is very young or very old or very in-between; dealing with a physical, emotional, or mental illness; or suffering a short-term or a fatal disease; you as a primary or secondary caregiver devote your life to providing compassionate care for someone you love to the best of your ability. You probably haven’t received any training for this tremendous responsibility. You’ve learned along the way—as I did. No doubt you have made mistakes, as I did. You have done things the hard way, as I did. And you haven’t had enough time to tap into the many available resources from which all caregivers can learn, as I did not.”
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Mary K. Doyle is the author of eleven books, including the award-winning Navigating Alzheimer’s: 12 Truths about Caring for Your Loved One and The Alzheimer’s Spouse: Finding the Grace to Keep the Promise. She cared for her husband, Marshall Brodien, for over ten years at home after his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and then in an extended-care facility. She speaks regularly around the country on “finding the grace” to be the primary caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s.