Tip 3, Empowerment

Empowerment is a way to compassionately relate to your loved one. He is likely to feel as if he has no control over any aspect of his care. Try to find ways to empower him and/or make him comfortable. Ask for his thoughts. Change the surroundings. Fill the room with favorite pictures, music, art, quilts or handmade blankets.

Empowerment can involve the way that you communicate with your care partner:

Words to Try: For Families talking with a sick person

Instead of: Dad, you are going to be just fine.

Try: Dad, are there some things that are worrying you?

Instead of : Don’t talk like that! You can beat this!

Try: It must be hard to come to terms with all of this.

Instead of: I can’t see how anyone can help.

Try: We will be there for you, always.

Instead of: I just can’t talk about this.

Try: I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Can we talk about it later tonight?

Instead of: What do the doctors know?

Try: Do you think the doctors are right? How does it seem to you?

Instead of: Don’t be glum. You will get well.

Try: It must be hard. Can I just sit with you for a while?

(Lynn, Joanne  Handbook for Mortals p 11)

So use this as a framework for your thinking. More than any specific examples try to keep a mindset of letting your care partner have some power in decision making. You will be surprised what happens!

Caregiver Revolution :For families, loved ones and professionals who want to change caregiving into a positive, life affirming experience.

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