Caregiver Challenges: Coping with Hurt Feelings in Your Care Journey
Caregiver in West Windsor NJ
Everyone has experienced moments in their lives when their feelings were hurt or they were frustrated and upset by another person’s actions even if that person did not intend on hurting them, and may not even realize that they did it. This can be especially common in your caregiver journey with your elderly loved ones, and have an even more intense emotional impact. Being their family caregiver is all about giving of yourself to make sure that your senior parents are comfortable, healthy, happy, and safe throughout their aging years, and it can be extremely upsetting when you encounter situations when it seems like those efforts are not being acknowledged or that your parents are putting extra emphasis on the efforts or even just presence of others. Coping with these hurt feelings is an important part of keeping yourself focused on your efforts and ensuring that you are doing the best you can for your seniors.
Use these tips to help you cope with your hurt feelings throughout your caregiver journey so that you can protect yourself and your care efforts as your parents age in place:
• Be honest about the situation. When you are starting to feel hurt or upset by the actions of your loved ones, take a moment to really evaluate the situation and why it is hurting you. This can help you to determine if the hurt feelings are truly justified or if you need to try to let go and get over it. For example, it can be hurtful when your parents greet you with a casual “hello” from the living room when you arrive, but scurry over and hug and kiss your brother when he comes over. If your brother lives at a distance and is not able to see your parents as often, however, it is understandable that they would be more expressive about seeing him than they would you when they see you every day.
• Acknowledge your feelings. You cannot expect your parents, or anyone else in your care journey, to make adjustments to their actions if you do not let them know that you are feeling hurt and upset. In many situations the person causing the hurt feelings has no idea what is going on and would not even consider that they could be upsetting their caregiver. For example, if your sister and you divide the cooking responsibilities for your parents and they are always more excited and grateful when she cooks, you might feel slighted or even embarrassed. Let them know so that they can pay closer attention to how they act.
• Get out of the situation. If your loved ones consistently talk about how wonderful your siblings are even though you know that they do not do anywhere near as much for your parents as you do, or are expressive and emotional toward a care provider but not toward you, it is easy to feel upset, hurt, and even frustrated. When you cannot convince your parents to stop, find ways to get yourself out of the situation. Simply ending the conversation or walking out of the room can free you from the frustration so you do not have to deal with the negative emotions.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in West Windsor, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.