Caregiving is a journey of twists and turns, good days and bad. There are days in which the smile and thank you we received from our loved one is over shadowed by the stress of cleaning up an accident or going to the doctor.
As a result those moments of joy are quickly pushed off or forgotten and replaced by distressing moments, which can quickly add up. Thereby increasing our feelings of stress and adding to the possibility of burnout. If caregivers can find a way to remember those joyful moments, recalling them when stress is at its highest it will be a benefit not only to themselves, but to those who receiving the care.
One way to capture those happy times and also process those distressing moments is by writing about them. A recent study by the University of Iowa indicates that caregivers who added 20 minutes of journaling just three times per week significantly reduced the level of cortisol a stress hormone found in the human body.
Journaling has also been found as a therapeutic approach to heal relationships, build self confidence, gain personal knowledge, increase ability to problem solve, enhance creativity, release emotions and improve cognition. In addition, by journaling about your caregiving journey you will be forever capturing this segment of your loved one’s lives and your interactions with them.
There are many approaches to journaling some write about it online or use a tape recorder to speak about their experience, while others dictate their notes on a calendar. However, by far the most common form of journaling is to put pen to paper.
However, you journal is up to you, but the reality of caregiving is that at some point the journey will end. When this happens this journal will serve as a connection to your loved one. It will bring back memories of the care you provided and the love you shared.
Therefore, you may find that you want to keep two journals. A “Stress” journal for when you just need to get the words out and if pages get ripped out in frustration it will not matter. The other journal or “Joy” journal is where you write about the hugs you receive, the precious times that you never want to forget and the moments that make you smile.
When your caregiving journey is over the “Stress” journal can be disposed of, but your “Joy” journal will serve as a reminder of your loved one and how truly joyful your journey was together.
My father has been here only a little over 2 months. The positive change in him has been DRAMATIC! I would HIGHLY recommend Azura........ I would give it 10 stars if they allowed it! This is the premier facility for any family member with cognitive issues! They do treat residents like family, believe it!
Review posted by Stephen Diedrich
The staff at Oak Creek are all fabulous! It takes special people to care for our loved ones. If has been a trying year for all and the staff at oak creek get a shout out for their kindness and compassion they give to my mom and the others. They have all gone above and beyond to make things seem as normal as possible for my mom! All of the staff have been so helpful and kind! They are all fabulous!!
Review posted by Mary Kubacki
"We want to thank you for the loving special care you took of our mother, Diane. It was truly mom's home and you all became part of our family. Everything was home for her....from the beautiful rooms, large sunny windows all around, good food made with love, fun and personal activities from people who really loved our mom. We would highly recommend your facility to anyone. The staff from the director, to the doctor, to the nurse, to the caregivers and the maintenance man were all extremely helpful, caring, loving and professional. There are not enough words to say how much we appreciate all of you. Your exceptional care, kindness, and love were beyond anything we could have imagined. You were part of our family, and we will miss you." - Gail Sommers and Deborah Guse
Review posted by Gail Sommers & Deborah Guse
Just moved my sister-in-law to Azura Stoughton on February 12th. I feel like I’ve found a little piece of dementia heaven. The staff has gone way beyond my expectations to meet her needs and take time to know her. Anyone who has dementia deserves the TLC they receive at Azura. I’m so impressed.
Review posted by Gail Aaroen
Thank you to the Azura Memory Care team, Sheboygan location for the amazing, loving care they provided my dad. They truly loved and cared for my dad as if he was their own. It is such a warm, loving, family environment I only wish we would have moved my dad there years earlier!
Review posted by Patti Bunch
Review posted by Ron Paxson
I have enjoyed working with patients at Azura Care as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The staff has been very helpful in sharing important information about the patients to make their therapy sessions as productive as possible. They are open to learning techniques to help keep patients safe and improve their ability to perform daily tasks with less assistance. Their interactions with patients show caring and compassion with a focus on the needs of each individual to enjoy the best quality of life possible.
Review posted by Barb Eisenberg
The journey of caregiving for my Aunt started over 4 years ago. It has been a very long difficult journey. It is hard to watch and frustrating to watch a loved one decline, as well as for them to live the decline. My Aunt found her final peace at Azura Memory Care in Sheboygan. It was not only her peace but mine as well. I no longer had to worry about her care as I could see that she was loved by her Azura family. She passed away on June 21 and they knew how important that it was for me to be there, but I also found peace that if I was not there, she was with family that loved her. No words can express the appreciation for the care, compassion and love that they have for all their residents. God has opened many doors through my journey and the doors at Azura were truly a gift from God. This family made a difference in a long journey. I will always have them in my thoughts and prayers. They are where and doing what they are meant to do!