Caregiving is an Attitude
“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” This is a quote from Lou Holtz former Notre Dame Football coach.
Caregiving or any action you take is difficult if difficult is how you see the task. Your attitude toward caregiving determines how well you perform. To some, caregiving is a privilege, it is love, it is kindness and it is the ability to return the care to a parent that you received as a child. To others caregiving is a burden.
Your mind is the most powerful tool you have, yet you may take the power of your mind for granted. What your mind believes you will likely experience. A positive attitude is a learned attitude. Thinking positive is the action of continually, habitually reinforcing and believing the positive and eliminating the negative from your mind. Maintaining a positive attitude takes work!
What is your response to a person who is always happy to see you? How do you respond to a person who enjoys life, has fun, laughs, and is always ready for the next adventure with you? Most respond positively. You want to be with this person. You want to be like this person.
Some older adults wonder why no one visits. The question the older adult must ask is “am I a person someone would enjoy visiting with? Do I constantly complain about all of the bad things in life”? Do I reply to a “how are you” with a long list identifying the miseries of my life? Do I nag my children for the things they don’t do? Do I thank my children for the things they do? Do I thank my children for visiting? If the answer to most of these questions is no, then you are an older adult with a negative attitude that must change if you hope to have visitors.
And for those of you who are caregivers – do you provide care joyfully or do you make those for whom you provide care feel guilty that you are there day after day to help them? Do you make loved ones feel like caring for them is a burden? Do you make it clear to others that you wish you were somewhere else? Feelings of resentment make a “caregiver – care receiver” relationship difficult and unpleasant. Being a caregiver is not an easy job. Nor is it easy for a care receiver to accept help because of a physical or mental disability.
Positive caregiving experiences result from maintaining a positive attitude about the experience. Yes, you will have days that are not as good as others, this is part of life. But, you have the opportunity to choose a positive attitude and make the best of your days, one day at a time. The first step is to wake up, be thankful for the day ahead and believe today will be a great day.
© 2012, 2013 Pamela D. Wilson. All rights reserved.