Dementia Care and the Power of Kindness: A Teacher’s Story

Kindness isn’t just about being nice. It’s about creating a positive and supportive environment where everyone can thrive. It’s about building relationships, fostering empathy, and making a difference in the lives of others.

Undoubtedly, kindness is vital and goes a long way in influencing how the people you meet think and feel. Acts of kindness, whether the giver or recipient, result in the brain getting giddy, which produces fantastic ‘feel-good chemicals,’ which ultimately impact our mental well-being.

Serotonin, Endorphins and Oxytocin: What’s not to love?

As a business, Grow Your Mindset has delivered random acts of kindness on many an occasion, whether this is turning up with a bunch of flowers for school office staff to brighten their day, a packet of biscuits to run alongside a meeting, a birthday card to customers just to let them know we’re thinking of them and so on. This makes us feel good, and we understand it raises a smile in others – job done, yes!

No, because when I think of kindness. This is embedded and grows more vital within the most challenging situations, not as a random action but as an inner strength. My perception of genuine kindness occurs when being kind to others is difficult and often inconvenient. 

A quick example of this for me and my family has evolved over the last five years with my dad’s diagnosis of Dementia. We now know this has been building over a more extended period, but my dad hid symptoms very well, whether out of fear, confusion, or denial. Mum is determined to care for Dad, and my sister and I are lucky enough to be just around the corner to provide extra support, persuasion or a different perspective for Mum when needed. 

Developing mindset awareness is fundamental to what I do, and watching Mum struggle with Dad has allowed me to discuss her challenges and also her perspective of the situation. In her 70s, she has spent her married life being the homemaker, the carer, the wife, and the mother. She likes things to be done a certain way and often on a particular day. Dad has now thrown a spanner in the works as he does things when he wants to, on his terms, almost childlike, in that he likes to be ‘the winner’ in a situation, whether it’s eating his tea, going to the toilet, having a shower or brushing his teeth.

The strength of kindness comes in when pressing the pause button on my life to be that voice of guidance with Dad, managing my emotions so Dad feels calm. Being the gentle persuasion, Dad still thinks he’s ‘the winner’ 😊 Hence the call from Mum last Friday (now referred to as Aldi gate) following an Aldi shop. Dad got in the driver’s seat. He refused to get out; he was fascinated with the buttons, dials, knobs and anything else he could press. I drove down to be the persuasive voice, and 30 minutes later, he obliged – grow kindness and grow your inner strength, for on that occasion, persistence, social intelligence and gratitude.

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” ~Bob Kerrey

Conclusion: Dementia Care and the Power of Kindness: A Teacher’s Story

So let’s toast the unsung achievements, the quiet victories that whisper, “You got this.” Remember, pride isn’t a mountain to climb; it’s a smile for every step you take. Go forth, bask in the sunshine of self-celebration, and light the way for others to do the same.

Liz Cronshaw
Co-Founder: Grow Your Mindset

Twitter handle is @GrowYourMindset

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Thank you for your kindness

Your Kindness Coach

John

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