J: We've recently become very familiar with the serenity prayer in our house. I say it on a daily basis. However, when it comes to the task of caring for people with AD, I think the prayer needs to be amended.
Serenity's definition in the dictionary is "the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled" and courage is defined as "strength in the face of pain or grief" while wisdom's definition is "the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment".
What the prayer doesn't account for is that the caregiving necessary for someone with AD is always changing. So that serenity necessary for accepting things that cannot be changed needs to account for the fact that things are always changing, and rarely for the better. There is no recovery with AD, just a slow inexorable demise. Add to serenity the words "forbearance" and "fortitude" and "tenacity".
That courage required to change the things that can be changed needs to include the flexibility necessary to adapt to the changing conditions of the AD patient and have the strength to continue to care as the patient fails.
As for wisdom, the "experience, knowledge and good judgement" necessary to know the difference between that which we can and cannot change in the course of the disease has to go hand in hand with an unshakeable faith that the patient's reward in heaven will be well worth the suffering they endure with AD.
All of the above, one day at a time.