Hillsdale Estates Family Council
Empathy Leads to Compassion Then Joy for the Alzheimer's Caregiver
|Posted on 3 February, 2016 at 15:00|
Empathy Leads to Compassion Then Joy for the Alzheimer's Caregiver
The role of empathy in dementia care.
I am sitting here thinking about the role of empathy in dementia care.
How does empathy apply in the carer - caree model?
Empathy I believe starts with understanding.
Learning how to understand how a person who is deeply forgetful might be feeling at any given point in time.
This includes being sensitive to the actions that might be taken, and the cause effect of these actions.
The caregiver begins to acquire empathy by asking how, why, what. How is the person who is deeply forgetful feeling? Why is the person who is deeply forgetful acting this way? What do they need?
The only way the caregiver can come to understanding and then empathy is by looking at the world out of the eyes of the person who is living with Alzheimer's or the other types of dementia.
All to often, we spend our time telling others how we feel. We the caregivers.
We spend our time describing the actions of the deeply forgetful to others. Then relate how we feel.
The act of "venting" or "complaining" is negative. This negativity adds to our burden.
On the other hand, when we begin to examine the words, actions, and acts of the deeply forgetful we slowly come to the understand that because of the changes in their brain they perceive the world differently at times then we, the caregivers, perceive the world.
Some caregivers come to believe that the person who is deeply forgetful is not the person they "knew". It does not seem apparent to them that the person they "know" is changing. This change is being caused by the effect of dementia on the brain.
This change is not being caused by any intentional acts on the part of the person living with Alzheimer's. This change is being caused by illness. Not because the person who is deeply forgetful has intentionally decided to change, and change for the worse.
The first step in effective caregiving is to acquire empathy based on how the person you are caring for perceives and views the world. How? Why? What?
The next step is the coming to an understanding that dementia is the culprit; not the person who is acting differently because of the effect of the dementia.
Empathy and understanding lead to compassion.
Compassion diffuses much of the burden a caregiver might feel. Leading to new, different, and more positive feelings.
It is at this point that we can turn our attention to our mission -- caring.
Caring for someone is never really easy. It if often trying, and often difficult.
However, caring can be tremendously fulfilling. Emotionally and spiritually uplifting.
Empathy and compassion married with love make caregiving meaningful and joyful, not burdensome.
Article by Bob DeMarco
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The Age of Enlightenment was a period of intense wanting to know of the dominant ideas in the fields of philosophy, money and economics. Just as the Reformation challenged spiritual dominance of the Roman Catholic Church and the 17th century conventional Revolution shattered the dogmatic consensus in sciences, The Enlightenment defied the ideas of divine right within the kings, Of brilliance of religious faith over human mind, And of the eternity of existing social measures. The basic ideas of the Enlightenment may be found in the works of its most prominent associates, these include Fran Arouet (Pen player Voltaire; 1694 1778), Charles Louis de Montesquieu (1689 1755), Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 1778) And john Wollstonecraft (1759 1797).
Voltaire made his name known as polemicist, Attacking entrenched social institutions of his time in a sharp and satirical prose and poetry (Cunningham Reich, 2010, g. 421). During his forced exile in great britain (1726 1728), He was greatly thankful for the British system of constitutional monarchy that stood in stark contrast with the absolutist regimes which dominated in Continental Europe (r. 416).
Voltaire imagined himself a deist, Viewing religion as based on human reason and the careful consideration of nature (Cunningham Reich, 2010, t. 417). He was vehemently opposed to religious fanaticism of any kind, Being especially negatively predisposed the particular Catholic Church. still, He was a partisan of religious toleration and viewed religious persecution and bigotry how as medieval barbarity (k. 417).
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on his seminal work, typically the Social Contract (1762), Rousseau experimented with present his political ideas in terms of radical republican democracy, Where the political sovereignty based on the general will of the people (s. 415). Rousseau thought that the development of virtue and moral sense in children should be the highest goal of any proper education system, And he attemptedto synthesize his ideas on education in Emile, One of his most pronounced literary works.
and lastly, Mary Wollstonecraft was the important advocates of women rights, Being a principal forerunner to the latest feminist movement. Her most important work is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Where she suggested an educationalist approach towards bridging the gap in social status of most people. She believed in innate rationality of human beings and advocated republicanism opposed to hereditary monarchy.
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