Vicki McAllister (MIND)
Ambiguous loss is defined as loss that occurs without a clear understanding which complicates and delays the process of grieving, and often results in unresolved grief. A caregiver is grieving in so many ways for so many reasons. As Dr. Pauline Boss (author, physician, researcher) has written (in two of her books: Ambiguous Loss and Loving Someone with Dementia), there is no closure with ambiguous loss. Recognizing and remaining aware of the fact that caregiving is about living with loss every day, is the first step toward coping with being a caregiver.
Surrounding yourself with a team of supporters (church, friends, family, support groups) is also crucial to learning and committing to becoming a healthy caregiver. Self-care is crucial and involves many aspects of wellness: sleep, exercise, mindset, spirituality, etc.
Tips for providing care in way that is healthy for both caregiver and the one receiving care involves redirecting the loved one perhaps using music or art, smiling frequently, respecting the loved one as an adult at all times, and consistently ensuring a baseline of comfort care is available for the loved one (sufficient sleep, food, pain management, etc.).