Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About myALZteam

Practicing Gratitude When Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer's

Posted on November 27, 2019

This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease doesn’t make it any easier. One way to find some relief from the pressure and stress of caregiving is to focus on gratitude. You might find gratefulness in a glimmer of beauty, a positive emotion, someone's smile, a favorite show. Finding something to be thankful for, whether great or small, can help calm your mind and lift your mood.

The evidence of 15 years of research shows that in general, an attitude of gratitude may benefit one's daily well-being, and not just in psychological ways. Some study results even indicate that thankfulness may support physical health as well – improving sleep and heart health, for two examples. Research still has many questions to answer. Are grateful people healthier? Or are healthier people just more grateful? Perhaps people with a thankful perspective on the world are more likely to eat a healthy diet, exercise, follow their doctor’s recommendations, or less likely to smoke? Even with all of the questions that still exist about the impact of gratitude, thankfulness does seem to be connected with better quality of life. Don’t we all want some of that?

Some days, caring for someone with Alzheimer's can make it hard to feel thankful. Managing a loved one's needs and symptoms may be draining and make it harder to find time for yourself. Like most things in life, gratitude can get easier with practice. Setting aside time to practice gratitude can help you get in the habit of looking for things to be thankful for.

Here are some practical ways you can harness positivity in your life:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Each day, spend five minutes writing about three things that went well for you and why you think they happened.
  • Send thank you notes for gifts or kind acts.
  • For special dear ones, write a letter of gratitude detailing all the ways you are thankful for them.
  • Engage in spiritual acts such as counting blessings or giving thanks.
  • List a few important, positive events in your life, then reflect on what life would have been like without them.
  • Take a short break from a favorite thing – a dessert, a beverage, a type of music, a show – and then when you come back to it again, you’ll remember how much you love it.

Imagine a jar where you could place one thought of gratitude. What would it be? Share what you're grateful for with fellow myALZteam members in the comments below.

A myALZteam Member said:

I am new also. Welcome

posted 1 day ago

hug

Recent articles

“Caregiving is a marathon, it’s not a sprint … so changing the focus to yourself is necessary to...

Caregiving and Disease Management for Alzheimer’s Disease

“Caregiving is a marathon, it’s not a sprint … so changing the focus to yourself is necessary to...
To sign up for the next live Q&A and watch past Q&A videos, go to (and bookmark)...

myALZteam Live Events Hub

To sign up for the next live Q&A and watch past Q&A videos, go to (and bookmark)...
As we grow older, distinguishing between what is a sign of normal aging and what may be a sign...

Mild Cognitive Impairment Symptoms vs. Normal Aging

As we grow older, distinguishing between what is a sign of normal aging and what may be a sign...
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a stage between normal age-related cognitive decline and...

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a stage between normal age-related cognitive decline and...
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) isn’t just ordinary forgetfulness. Mild cognitive impairment...

Tips for Improving Memory Health

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) isn’t just ordinary forgetfulness. Mild cognitive impairment...
Early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is important, because some cases can progress...

Mild Cognitive Impairment: The Benefits of Early Diagnosis

Early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is important, because some cases can progress...
Thousands of members of myALZteam connect with one another and read each other's stories to gain...

Four Books About Alzheimer's disease You Should Read

Thousands of members of myALZteam connect with one another and read each other's stories to gain...
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults are at higher...

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Alzheimer's

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults are at higher...
Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made...

Setting Intentions for 2020 as an Alzheimer's Caregiver

Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made...
I am a 75-year-old retired mental health registered nurse. About four years ago I noticed that my...

Member Spotlight: Losing My Marital Relationship to Dementia

I am a 75-year-old retired mental health registered nurse. About four years ago I noticed that my...
myALZteam My Alzheimer's Team

Two Ways to Get Started with myALZteam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with Alzheimer's. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about Alzheimer's sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
myALZteam My Alzheimer's Team

Thank you for signing up.

close