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Esther Heerema, MSW

How Can Thankfulness and Alzheimer's Go Together?

By November 18, 2012

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As we approach Thanksgiving, I'm pondering the art of thankfulness in the midst of challenging circumstances. For some of you, that may be a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's or another dementia. For others, it's the stretching of your time and energy as you care for both an aging parent and your own children. Still others may be facing the first holiday since losing a loved one.

In light of your personal circumstances, it may sound ludicrous to even try to be thankful, and yet it's a good exercise for all of us to attempt. Being thankful can help us cope with the difficulties of a chronic, progressive disease like dementia by changing our perspective even though the situation remains the same.

It's important to note, however, that being thankful doesn't mean you place those rose-colored glasses firmly on your nose, ignore the heartbreaking losses and deny the grief or difficulty of today. It does mean that, sometimes, even in the midst of those losses, we can experience poignant gratitude for a loved one or other gifts in our lives.

What are you grateful for this week? You might want to take a moment to write a note to someone or pick up the phone to let a friend know that they are one of the reasons you're able to give thanks today. And, along those lines, I'm thankful that you chose to stop by here! My hope is that, despite your situation, you'll find encouragement and answers here.

More Information

Using Gratitude to Cope More Effectively with the Challenges of Alzheimer's

 

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