Caregiving requires a brave heart

Caregiving requires a brave heart. Nonviolent Communication, as a discipline of the heart, is a process—not a technique, not a method, but a process—that can help. Because in Nonviolent Communication, we take responsibility for our own well-being. And we do that by keeping an awareness of our needs and trusting in our heart. Some caregivers think they have to give up their feelings and needs in order to manage their care responsibilities. Some discover that providing care without a heart is soul-destroying yet giving into emotional ups and downs makes things even harder. By expanding our heart beyond passing emotions we may see things more clearly and have a better idea how to solve problems. In other words, we build our ability to see clearly, feel our feelings, sense our needs, and request strategies to meet those needs.

Commitment to clear Observation, felt Feeling, sensed Need, and fulfilling Strategy constitutes the Nonviolent Communication process.

As time goes on and dementia develops, someone with dementia gradually becomes inseparable from their caregiver, yet both remain distinct individuals. When I acknowledge my needs as my own, I am in a much better position to connect with the other person.