I found that simple statement at the end of a journal entry in the book about my mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s – You learn as you go. Yet we sometimes wish we knew it all upfront, right? And how can we? There are some things that only life’s experience can teach us.
Even after mulling over research or implementing best practices, we find that being a caregiver can be trial and error. (And that’s okay as long as we are not talking about life-threatening errors.) For example, we may learn a better way to talk to those we care for because as they change, we find that we must change also. What worked yesterday may not be working today. We find out how to better care for our loved ones as we peer into their faces and understand that they are more frustrated with the illness than we are.
Learning as you go can be beneficial. It takes off the pressure to get everything right all the time. This teaches us to be patient with ourselves and more patient with our loved ones. Keep learning, keep going – there are more lessons ahead to strengthen you and guide you.