Emotional resilience is your ability to cope with and recover from difficult experiences.
Having emotional resilience doesn’t mean that you won’t feel upset about dementia or things that may change in your life because of it. Rather, it is about your ability to manage despite difficulties. We can all improve our emotional resilience.
Dementia presents many challenges for care partners, so it is important to be able to ‘bounce back’ from these challenges over the long term.
Do things that hold meaning and purpose for you
Ensure that caring doesn’t ‘take over’. Keep doing a variety of things which are important to you. See section 3.1 Dealing with memory and thinking difficulties for a worksheet on figuring out what is important to you in life and ways to plan to do those things.
Sofia found balancing her time difficult between supporting three lively teenagers and her mother Lydia, who lives by herself in the next suburb. She told us,
“One day my husband pointed out I had given up the social support committee at our Greek Community centre, I hadn’t had a day out shopping forever and I was too tired to go out to social things if we were asked. I was able to arrange some additional support for mum and went back to my committee. I realized that doing things I loved – even though I love doing things for Mum – actually gave me more energy for my family.”
Join a research study
Research is more than trials of new drugs. There are many research programs that have opportunities for care partners.
After a research interview, one care partner said
“This interview has been really helpful. It has allowed me to think about my situation and get some perspective on it”.
Being involved in research may helps you get more information about dementia. Many care partners have told us that being involved in research is one way to help find meaning and to make sense of a diagnosis of dementia.
To sign up for research
- The Alzheimer’s Society Research Portal lists national and provincial Canadian studies that are seeking participants. Get involved, learn more here.
- Take part in our research. Click here to learn more about the ‘Forward with Dementia’ research project.
Become a dementia advocate
Dementia advocates are people who represent and speak on behalf of others living with dementia and care partners. Dementia advocates give their time in a variety of ways. They may:
- Share their views and experiences about dementia and caring.
- Provide feedback on new programs or policies which might affect people with dementia and care partners.
- Speak publicly about their experiences with dementia or sit on a committee representing the interests of people with dementia and care partners.
George and Joan became involved with the Alzheimer Society in their community shortly after Joan’s diagnosis in 2013.
That is when George started attending a support group. He found the group very supportive, and he received some good resources.
In addition, George began doing a lot of research on his own to educate himself about dementia. He found, unfortunately, that there were not a lot of resources out there that could help him in supporting his wife.
In his quest for more information, George even approached his local MP to talk about what they were doing for families affected by dementia.
George has spent many years speaking to the media, to medical students, participating on committees, and being involved in research.
After her death in February 2019, he even served on the Family Partnership Council at the Villa where she had lived. Read more about George and Joan here.
- The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada has a dementia advocate group comprised of people living with dementia and care partners. Learn more here.
- You may also want to lend your voice to the Carers Canada who are a national advocacy group aiming to build awareness for care partners. Learn more here.
- You can become involved in advocacy through Dementia Alliance International. Learn more here.
- Or, learn more about Dementia Advocacy Canada.
To get a better idea about what people experience through being an advocate, view this short The Many Voices of Dementia