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Tip of the Week


imageDealing With Anger

A short time ago, I mentioned a great book that I was reading entitled “Df. Ruth’s Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver.” It was written by Dr. Ruth Westheimer, in the same frank and honest style that we’ve come to expect from her.

Today, I read what she had to say about anger.  As caregivers, it’s natural that there’s going to come a time when you get angry with the loved ones you are helping.  Maybe she is refusing to take a bath, or she has said something to you that is especially hurtful, or she broke your favorite china plate.  It’s natural to feel anger at times, and it’s wrong to try and ignore those feelings.  But, at the same time, it is pointless to scold or argue, or otherwise express your anger to your loved one.  It not only doesn’t help, it also often only causes more confusion.

What Dr. Ruth suggested is, when you feel yourself getting angry, stop for a minute and think back to a happy memory involving your mother.  She mentioned recalling a time when the two of you went to Disneyland.  Or it could be hours spent playing the piano and singing familiar hymns. Whatever the memory may be, keep it handy so you can use it whenever you feel the need to lash out at your loved one, or just dwell on those hurt feelings.

It may take a while, but soon you won’t even mind when your mother tells you that your best roast beef tastes awful.

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