A caregiver for someone who has dementia frequently mourns the profound loss of their loved one and as they used to be, and their companionship. The caregiving journey becomes increasingly stressful as the person with dementia remains physically present but becomes psychologically absent.
If you are caring for someone who has dementia, you need to know that there is meaning to be found in your caregiving experience. And, you also need to know that you can find hope for a better and brighter personal future. This series will teach you techniques that will help you navigate your caregiving situation, lower your stress, and reclaim meaning in your relationship and life.
Dr. Pauline Boss, Ph.D. has been working to help dementia caregivers find meaning and hope for more than 40 years. In her book Loving Someone Who Has Dementia, Dr. Boss uses the term “ambiguous loss” to describe the complex grief experience of caring for someone who is physically present, yet psychologically absent.
To manage this experience, she encourages caregivers to learn and practice “both/and” thinking. She encourages them to practice carrying contradicting thoughts, simultaneously, to reconcile that a loved one is both here, and not here. She encourages caregivers to make peace that their loved one is both absent and present, and find meaning in the good enough relationship that they have. These are unfamiliar concepts that can best be learned in community.
Once mastered, they can be transformative to your health and wellbeing.
In partnership with Dr. Boss, the Meaning & Hope Institute offers its signature video discussion series, featuring Dr. Boss, specifically for family caregivers experiencing ambiguous loss. The series is designed to help you find real help and hope as you care for someone who has become ambiguously lost.
This 10-week, peer-led group discussion series is a free outreach to full-time, part-time, or long-distance caregivers.
The series is built on solid research and years of practical experience. Get real help in dealing with the challenges, losses, and rewards of being a family caregiver of someone who is, or is becoming, psychologically absent.
This 10-week discussion series features videos based on Dr. Boss’s groundbreaking book, Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief.
When you join a Finding Meaning and Hope discussion series, you will meet fellow family caregivers and discuss how to regain hope and build resilience. You will learn skills that help you stay strong, healthy, resilient, and positive as you navigate your caregiving journey.
These sessions are offered virtually, at no cost, using Zoom. To participate, you will need a computer, tablet, or smart phone with a camera and sound capabilities. The Meaning & Hope Institute staff is available to assist you with setup prior to the meeting.
In addition to providing the 10-week discussion series, the Meaning & Hope Institute also connects dementia family caregivers to resources and support groups where you can share your experiences with like-minded dementia caregivers who are dealing with similar challenges. Joining a support group can help you reduce your stress and isolation while you navigate the ever-changing landscape of family caregiving. Find out more about resources and support groups for dementia family caregivers.